Breezing Through the Poppy Fields in Lancaster, California
Standing in awe comes naturally, when gazing at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve's carpets of spring wildflowers. The blazing orange color populating this unspoiled desert grasslands habitat comes from the state flower, the California poppy, Eschscholtzia california, with a peak blooming season of March and April. This 1,800-acre state park has a visitor center and eight miles of trails, including a wheelchair-accessible section. Other wildflowers include purple owl's clover, yellow fiddleneck, white cream cups, blue lupine, and swatches of tiny yellow goldfields (call the Wildflower Hotline at 661-724-1180 for solid dates). Visit mid-morning, before the gusty winds arrive in the afternoon, causing the poppies to close their delicate petals. And stay on the trails—rattlesnakes are present!