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A Hike through the Low Antelope Valley Hills

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

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Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 5.8 miles
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview :  This loop walk includes the two primary loops and hilltop viewing areas at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. Generally an... more »

Tips:  Location:
The park is located approximately seven miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve on Lancaster Road (an... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Park Entrance

Latitude/Longitude: 34.72482 N, 118.41271 W

15101 Lancaster Rd
Lancaster, CA 93536

On the way in on the access road, you will pass the local sector offices and corporation yard.
There is a small store and museum display. The staff here are happy to provide additional information about the surrounding parks.

Pick up copies of the information... More

2. Parking

After passing through the entrance kiosk, head up the hill to the paved parking area. ADA spots are near the Visitor Center and Trail Access end. Restrooms are available.

3. Visitor's Center

After parking head up the stairs at the northwesterly corner of the lot toward the Visitor's Center.

The center is generally ADA accessible, including the restrooms. The 400’ paved path from parking area to the Visitor Center is usable, but assistance may be required with slopes and stairs in one section.

4. Trail Access

A paved path that appears to be ADA accessible heads around the base of a hill to the west of the Visitor Center. If you're the lead person in your group, have fun watching the lizards scurry!

5. Junction

Leaving the paved trail, you’ll approach the first junction. It heads northerly to Kitanemuk Vista Point. Head up the hill.

6. Junction

Skip the first two trail junctions to the right. Shortly the trail will start sweeping around the backside of the low hill and you’ll want to follow a saddle to the next.

As you gain elevation vistas start opening up.

7. Kitanemuk Vista Point

Take a short side trail up to the top of Kitanemuk Vista Point.

Saddleback Butte, the San Bernadino Range, San Gabriel Range, Portal Ridge, and the Tehachapi Ranges all are visible from here.

From here, we essentially follow the ridgeline along the Lightning Bolt Trail about 1.5 miles to our next destination, Antelope Butte Vista Point.

8. Junction

A junction heading southerly. It connects to the Antelope Trail North Loop and Antelope Trail South Loop.

We will bypass this trail and keep gaining elevation, heading to Antelope Butte.

9. Junction

Side trail to an unnamed hilltop with views.

10. Hilltop

Returning to the Lightning Bolt Trail, continue the remaining 0.6 miles to Antelope Butte along the ridge line.

11. Antelope Butte Vista Point

At just over 3200 feet the view extends out to Lancaster and all the surrounding ranges across Antelope Valley.

Retire from the Butte and head down the shallow valley below towards the Visitors Center. If you keep your eyes open you may catch one of the local tarantulas before it crawls under a bush.

12. Junction

Arrive at the Antelope Trail South Loop. The trail heading uphill ends at WP 8 earlier.

We'll continue on this lower trail around the base of the hill for about 0.7 miles. It will round the hill's base and then start an upgrade to connect with the Antelope Trail North Loop about midway up the hill.

13. Junction

Reach the junction with the Antelope Trail North Loop.

Continue westerly toward the Visitor Center. The route will gently climb and fall.

14. Junction

This side trail will take you out to one of the lower hills overlooking the lower portions of the park. I'd recommend taking this one during the blooming season.

15. Junction

Returning to WP 6 backtrack down the hill so that the next loop can be approached.

16. Junction

Returning to our original trail junction (WP 5), head out on the trail heading westerly. The next trail junction will be in sight.

17. Junction Poppy Trail North Loop

Take the right hand trail heading up the hill in a northerly direction. This trail, the Poppy Trail North Loop, will take us over the rise and into the broad shallow valley on the backside of the preserve.

Back there is a spring and taller grasses creating a somewhat lusher environment than in the preserve's southerly side.

18. Foot Bridge

Crossing the creek-bed is a footbridge in the wettest part of the valley just below a spring. The trail will head around the butte base and toward the westerly side of the preserve. This region will be the greenest portion of the park.

The range fencing marks the preserve’s boundary.

The other primary creek within the preserve near the westerly boundary.

As the trail rounds the buttes and heads back toward the Visitor Center, it will gain elevation, passing between the two buttes at this end of the park. With elevation gain, the vegetation rapidly dries out.

20. Junction

The Tehachapi Vista Point Trail branches to the left (east) and heads up the buttes.

We'll take the lower trail around the butte base.

21. Junction

Head easterly toward the Visitor Center.

22. Return to the Parking Lot