Visiting Antelope Valley Poppy Fields

antelope canyon poppy fields

With each new poppy fields photo that monopolized my instagram feed… my curiosity grew and grew on this magically trendy Socal spot.  So we packed up the dogs and the camera and headed the hour and a half North-East to Lancaster, CA.  And here’s what I learned:

  1. Don’t just stop on the side of the road with the rest of the tourists, bang a right onto one of the dirt roads and get in there.
  2. Dogs aren’t allowed.   Good thing for us, our dogs are children so we didn’t run into any problems.
  3. There are rattlesnakes hiding between each patch of poppies waiting to murder you and your dog-children.  We didn’t actually see any per se, but that’s what we were warned so passing it along.
  4. It is windy AF.  Flowy skirts are a bad idea.  Windbreakers are a good one.
  5. There aren’t just rolling fields after rolling fields of these little orange suckers.  You’ve got to drive to the perfect spot and accurately position your camera to ‘capture’ the ‘endless poppies’ look.
  6. Don’t go on the weekends.  A mid-week day is bad enough.  Tourists sprawled out all over the wildflowers like Sims rolling around and posing in outrageous stances.
  7. Midweek aim to leave early, right after traffic from LA so you can spend an hour at the fields and get the hell out of there before traffic hits again.
  8. Best time to see the bloom: Late March/Early April
  9. If you think you’re the only husband/boyfriend being dragged on this ‘adventure’, you’re not alone.  Mostly every group consisted of a chick barking at her significant other to take better photos.
  10. It’s okay to be basic now and again by feeling the pressure to visit a field of flowers after getting instagram fomo.  Just embrace it.

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  1. A few more FYIs from a local since dogs feature heavily in these photos for this piece: 1) As the piece points out, the California Poppy Reserve prohibits dogs and to people walking off trail because the trampling damages the ability for the flowers to return in future years. (Just so people know, traveling that far only to be turned away for having a dog in tow.) 2) Much of the land surrounding the reserve is largely private and it’s probably not a good idea to allow dogs to roam on somebody else’s property. 3) California is a leash law state (meaning it is illegal to let your dog off the leash outside private homes and designated dog parks), and 4) the area isn’t just home to diamondback rattlesnakes but the even more venomous mohave rattlesnake, which as an adult is only about 2-4′ in length (making it easy for them to hide). Snakes are active from April until September. The Mojave rattlesnake has the most potent venom of any rattlesnake in North America. In short, it’s just not a good idea to let dogs off a leash in the Antelope Valley region.

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