California Poppy Reserve
April 16, 2006
An seemingly endless field of poppies near the California Poppy Reserve
My new blue Subaru's first road trip :)

If you've never been to the Poppy Preserve, go take a look!  The peak bloom varies from year to year but is usually mid-April.  Check out this website for bloom reports:

More about the CA Poppy Reserve
2008 Trip to the Poppy Reserve
2014 Trip to the Poppy Reserve
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Todd and I drove down to the California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster, CA on Sunday.  I had never been there before and have been trying to fit in the trip for a couple of years now.  The Preserve is a beautiful piece of land in the Antelope Valley high desert.  Here is one of the most consistent California poppy blooms year after year. 

California poppies became our state flower in 1903.  California Indians cherished the poppy as both a source of food and for oil they extracted from the plant. Its botanical name,
Eschsholtzia californica, was given by naturalist Adelbert Von Chamisso, who dropped anchor in San Francisco in 1816 in a bay surrounded by hills of poppies. They are also sometimes known as the flame flower, la amapola, and copa de oro (cup of gold). They grow wild throughout most of California but only in huge concentrations in certain areas like the Reserve.

We arrived at the Poppy Reserve mid-morning only to find not much of anything blooming.  We went to the visitor center then hiked the north and south poppy loop trails.  We saw a couple of small poppy patches and some clover and lupine blooming in small numbers.  The poppies were mostly closed up tight due to the strong wind but some hills were covered with goldfields and were beautiful. 
We then drove west of the Reserve and only about a mile away we found a spectacular field of poppies blooming.  And across the valley to the north we saw another bright orange patch.  It's hard to describe how brilliantly orange the poppies against a desert mountain can be...  you can see it from miles and miles away!  We drove across the valley and sure enough, near the intersection of Gaskell and 195th there was an incredible display of poppies and goldfields.