Lancaster, CA

Best Outdoor Activities to Learn the Lay of the Land in Lancaster, CA

Lisa Goetz

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Enjoy breathtaking poppy fields in Antelope Valley, Lancaster, CASteve Wiesner/Unsplash

If you are looking for an interesting outdoor experience, consider visiting Lancaster. Located north of Los Angeles, but still within Los Angeles County, Lancaster offers a desert experience along with lush fields of wildflowers and a fun downtown area. The great news is that Lancaster is an hour's drive from Los Angeles, making it possible to enjoy a day-long visit to the area. Here are some of the main attractions in Lancaster.

Hike Antelope Valley

Thousands of locals and visitors descend on Antelope Valley, high desert terrain situated within the hills west of Lancaster — on the Mojave Desert’s western tip — to view expansive poppy fields. The site brings to mind 19th century oil paintings, especially in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.

Antelope Valley also is an ideal place to see impressive displays of wildflowers. Between March and May, you can expect to walk through wispy fields featuring wildflower varieties such as goldfield, lupine, and cream cups.

Antelope Valley offers eight miles of hiking trails. Park management requires that visitors use the trails exclusively. Heat and strong afternoon winds may impede your enjoyment of the area, so early morning visits for wildflower scoping and hiking are recommended.

Shop and Dine on the BLVD

To experience the spirit of Lancaster, visit the trendy BLVD cultural district. The area underwent significant renovations in 2010. Today the strip, located between 10th Street and Sierra Highway, offers a variety of national and local retail establishments.

Salons, barbershops, spas, and cool clothing stores line the BLVD alongside the Lancaster Performing Arts Center and the Museum of Art and History.

As a fan of gourmet eats and treats, you may enjoy the BLVD’s Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine establishments, among numerous international restaurants with chef-inspired menus. At night, the BLVD also delivers a festival atmosphere for weeken entertainment seekers that does not disappoint.

Explore Saddleback Butte State Park

Located within the Mojave Desert on the western tip, Saddleback Butte offers breathtaking views from its granite mountaintop. You can also take photos and ponder the meaning of life under the park’s well-known Joshua tree forest.

Better suited for experienced hikers, expect a five-mile trek and a fairly steep climb to Saddleback Butte summit and back. Similar to Antelope Valley, expect the best views and hiking conditions in the springtime, between February and May just before sunrise. Temperatures in the Mojave Desert often exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and you may not enjoy your visit if the weather is too hot.

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Lisa Goetz writes cryptocurrency news, analysis and opinion. A freelance journalist with 11 years of experience, Goetz's articles have been featured in USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Houston Chronicle.

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