Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Quick Facts

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

California

(661) 942-0662

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Added to the State Parks in 1988, Ripley Desert Woodland is located a few miles west of the Poppy Reserve on Lancaster Road at 210th Street West. Donated to the State by Arthur "Archie" Ripley, the park protects and preserves an impressive stand of native Joshuas and junipers which once grew in great abundance throughout the valley. Today, only remnant parcels of this majestic woodland community remain in the valley, the rest having been cleared for farming and housing.

The Joshua tree played an important part in cultural history of Antelope Valley, providing a vital source of food and fiber materials for the Native Americans that inhabited the region. The naming of Joshua as a "tree" is credited to early Mormon settlers who saw the tree with its upraised arms as Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Its actual classification, however, is as a member of the lily family. In early spring months, creamy white blossoms begin to grow on the ends of the branches of the Joshua. The blooms last for several months, growing larger and larger as the weeks go by. Set in a bed of wildflowers, the Joshua becomes a site of stately beauty. You are invited to walk through this majestic Joshua/juniper woodland, to enjoy its beauty and to share with others the importance of preserving this valuable resource.

For your enjoyment, the park features a picnic table and self-guided nature trail, with information about the desert wildflowers and animals of the Ripley Desert Woodlands. The trail is short with no elevation change. There is a pit toilet available; no running water.

Map of Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 34.759714, -118.501773

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Activities

  • Hiking

    The Ripley Nature Trail is a twelve-stop interpretive trail, keyed to a pamphlet available from the state parks visitor center in Lancaster, leads past some of the pre¬serve's featured flora. (A brochure is by no means necessary to enjoy the trail.)

    Ripley's other rambles are of the do-it-yourself variety. Wander at will amongst the juniper and Joshua trees, inhale the sage-scented fresh air, and rejoice at the beauty of this wooded island on the land.

  • Historic Sites

    With its thriving Joshuas and junipers, accompanied by a thick undergrowth of buckwheat, beavertail cactus, sage and Mormon tea, the preserve is a reminder of how most of the Antelope Valley may have appeared to early travelers such as missionary Father Garces in 1776, or explorer John C. Frémont in 1848.

  • Picnicking

    For your enjoyment, the park features a picnic table and self-guided nature trail, with information about the desert wildflowers and animals of the Ripley Desert Woodlands. There is a pit toilet available; no running water.

Directions

Driving

The park is located approximately seven miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve on Lancaster Road (an extension of West Avenue I ), one mile south of State Highway 138 via 210th Street West.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(661) 942-0662

Links