Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ARTHUR B. RIPLEY DESERT WOODLAND STATE PARK (Antelope Valley, N. Los Angeles County, CA)

For those of you who have been to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland SP is pretty close by, only about 7 miles due west of the reserve on Lancaster Rd. The property was donated to the State in 1988 by Arthur "Archie" Ripley, preserving a remnant of the once abundant Joshua Tree/Juniper woodlands, which had been decimated over the past several decades for farms and housing developments. We visited this area in May of 2003 - a bit late for wildflowers, but we did come across some Desert Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii) and Scarlet Buglar (Penstemon centranthifolius). There's an easy self-guided nature trail in the park, a picnic table, and a pit toilet. Except for the shotgun shells and trash heap we came across here in 2003, a great place for a day trip to the high desert. 

5/4/03 Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland SP.

5/4/03 Ripley Nature Trail.

5/4/03 Desert Purple Sage (Salvia dorrii). Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland SP.

5/4/03 Scarlet Buglar (Penstemon centranthifolius). Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland SP.


Location: 7 miles west of the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve on Lancaster Rd. (an extension of W. Avenue I) at 210th St.

County/State: N. Los Angeles County, CA.

Management: CA Dept. of Parks & Recreation.

Size: 566 acres

Closest Town/City: Lancaster

Directions: From Hwy. 138W, exit 210th St. West. Travel 1 mile south/left to the park (or enter from Lancaster Rd. - dirt track at signed park boundary at (GPS for entry point at turnoff on Lancaster Rd: N 34 degrees 44' 46.7" / W 118 degrees 29' 0.24"). 
Park on Lancaster Road and enter through pedestrian walk-thru by the gate.

Contact Info: Park office (661)946-6092.

Road Conditions (as of May 2003): Narrow, unpaved, somewhat hard-pack/sandy road. 4WD recommended, but passable to passenger vehicle. Several off-road tracks branch off from here. Track from Lancaster Rd. runs parallel to park boundary, which is fenced off (not sure if there's a main gate or entrance elsewhere). A left turn about 3/4 mile up appears to turn into park grounds. NOTE: numerous shotgun shells and dumpsite at this junctions (a mattress, old refrigerator, etc.).

Trails: Easy (no elevation gain), short, self-guided nature trail.

Fees: None.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset.

Amenities: a picnic table and pit toilet.

Pets: Ok on a leash.

http://parks.ca.gov/?page_id=634 (California State Parks)

Flora & Fauna (what we saw): Desert Purple sage (Salvia dorrii), Scarlet Buglar (Penstemon centranthifolius), Fiddleneck (Amsinckia  spp.), Goldfields, Chia, Mustard, Dove Lupine, Filaree, Desert Primrose, Blue Dicks.

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