Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve Tips | April 7 on 7

antelope valley poppy reserve, red rock canyon, tips for seeing super bloom

The California Super Bloom

Here in California we are experiencing a super bloom. It’s been all over the news and of course, Instagram.  A super bloom is a rare occurrence and happens when there is a perfect combination of rain and favorable temperatures.  Usually it happens about once a decade but we’ve been lucky in that we had one just two years ago in 2017.

So when my daughter came home for spring break last week, we decided somewhat spontaneously to head down to Lancaster, CA to see it for ourselves.  We tossed around the idea of going to Walker Canyon but the news reports that showed Disneyland size crowds redirected us to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.  Don’t get me wrong, AVPR had it’s fare share of poppy lovers but we timed it right and managed to miss the crowds.

Tips for Visiting

If you decide to pop on over (couldn’t help myself) to see the poppies for yourself, here are a few tips:

  1.  Get there early (preferably during the week).  We arrived at 9:30 am on a Friday and still had to wait in a queue to pay at the park ranger station ($10 per car).  As we left (at 12:30 pm), they were regulating the cars and only letting a few in at a time. The line of waiting cars backed up all the way down the road.
  2. Bring layers.  It can be pretty windy up there and chilly.  We saw prepared folks walking around with gloves and scarves.  Thankfully the winds died down by 11 am and we were able to walk around without being fully bundled up.
  3. Be sure to walk to the backside of the reserve to see all of the yellow flowers, fiddleneck, as well as purple beauties called lacy phacelia.
  4. Try to go on a sunny day or light filled day.  If it is too overcast (or windy) the flowers close up.
  5. Stay on the trails.  Don’t lie in the flowers or sit down on them (as tempting as it may be to capture a photo of yourself surrounded by poppies). Doing so can crush these fragile flowers (obviously) and also ruin the chance of the flowers to reseed themselves for future blooms.  You can get the effect of looking like you are in the fields by using creative angles.

Ok now that I have my tips out of the way, here are some photos.  I took hundreds so narrowing it down to 7 was a bit tough to do so I have a few extras.  Seeing these poppy fields was really amazing.  It seemed so unreal….it was straight out of the Wizard of Oz.

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A little lens ball fun!

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The poppies were that orange and the sky that blue. #noedits

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Poppies upclose….

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The Southside of the reserve.

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Mother/Daughter Selfie

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Using portrait mode to get a blurred effect.

If you’d like to see more of our trip (we also went to Red Rock Canyon), here’s a little video I made.  And be sure to click through our blog circle to see the beautiful work of my good friend Jen.  She’s sharing a few things that she is obsessed with this month.  🙂


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