A few weeks ago, a friend and I drove to Lancaster (which is a couple hours outside of Los Angeles), to visit the California Poppy Reserve. Every spring, the fields in Antelope Valley are covered with bright orange blooms of the California state flower, the poppy. I've been meaning to go here for years, so when my friend mentioned she wanted to go, I jumped at the chance.
I'm so glad we went when we did. Usually the poppies bloom all spring, but California is suffering from the worst drought in its history at the moment, and I've heard that this year was one of the smallest years for blooms, and that most of the poppies have already died. So, if you're planning on making the trip yourself, I would wait until next year and call before heading out to make sure the poppies are in bloom.
A couple things to keep in mind for your visit - it's illegal to pick or destroy the poppies in any way. It's kind of hard to see in these photos, but due to the drought, there are huge patches of dirt and grass in the poppy fields. To sit "amongst the flowers" we carefully hopped from dirt patch to dirt patch and back. Also, if you're short on cash and can't pay the $10 entry fee to the reserve, the trails along the highway into the reserve offer beautiful hikes and pretty much the same view for free.
P.S. - While in Lancaster, make sure to also check out the Musical Road. It's a trip, and especially fun if you have little kids!
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