Most seasons in Southern California emerge quietly — palm trees stay green in the fall, sunshine is abundant year-round and rainfall is seldom to none. But at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster, Calif., spring seems to burst into song as it arrives. Countless California poppies bloom, transforming the Mojave’s rolling hills into a vibrant orange landscape and imbuing a sweet fragrance into the air.
Hiking on the reserve’s 8 miles of trails promises dreamlike panoramas and visits from the locals (monarch butterflies, meadowlarks and Pacific gopher snakes, to name a few). March usually marks the beginning of wildflower season at Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. The poppies reach their peak in mid-April, and the season wraps up around May.