Discover California's Poppy Fields


Article by Reneé Rayles

Photography by Reneé Rayles

Acres and acres of golden poppies align Antelope Valley in Lancaster, Calif. The Golden Poppy, also known as the California Poppy, is California's state flower. While last year the area was full of social media influencers and selfie-takers, this year the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is closed due to safety measures for COVID-19. But, luckily for us, the Golden Poppy blooms can seem from miles around in Antelope Valley.

When driving through Antelope Valley the orange color of the poppies illuminates the surface area. It literally looks like a field of orange from afar. Upon getting closer to the poppy fields you can see the vivid, orange flowers.

Not only do you start to see the poppies, but you also smell them. The scent reminds me of the aroma of a beet vegetable. It is a distinct smell that complements the neon-colored flower, that cannot be missed.

Click here to see my video tour of Antelope Valley's poppy fields

When do poppies bloom?

The flower blooms from mid-February through mid-May. Blooming seasons are dependent on the amount of rainfall during the winter to early spring seasons.  —Wikipedia

Next year, the 1800 acre Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, hopes to be open to see even more spectacular poppies. But, you can still visit the reserve virtually and view their live feed stream at https://www.parks.ca.gov/live/poppyreserve .


"Walking in the poppies creates dirt patches and may result in a ticket. DO NOT walk where others have already damaged the habitat; it will compound the damage and leave a scar for years to come. "

California Parks Department

TIP: Just walk on the poppy path and you will have plenty of photo ops.

While I did not visit Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, due to its closure, the area around it is full of fields of poppy. The Lancaster Poppy Fields were marvelous in their overwhelming color. If you are looking for poppy fields near you, there are two large areas in the United States to do so. One in Pennsylvania and the one I visited here outside of Los Angeles in Lancaster, Calif. I hope you enjoy this virtual tour!

Follow Renee at @reneerayles

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