Arthur B. Ripley Woodland Desert State Park: A Little Slice of California Heaven

This wild, lesser-known state park was donated to the state of California by Arthur Ripley. Interestingly enough, the Arthur B. Ripley Woodland Desert did not become declared a park until 1988. The park acts as a way to protect the native Joshuas and Junipers which ,before the area was cleared to make room for farmland and houses, grew in abundance in the Antelope Valley.

Points of Interest

Since the Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park has one of the last untouched Joshua forests in the Antelope Valley, enjoying the walking trails are a must. You can find a half mile long interpretative trail and many miles of freeform trails to enjoy gentle hiking and exploration. Since there is no elevation, all skill levels are invited to enjoy these scenic trails.

Brochures that outline the points of interest ,on the self-guided nature trail, are readily available from the information center located in Lancaster, California.

Park Features

Not only is there a nature trail available, but there are picnic tables situated in a beautiful setting for you and your family to take a load off and have a quick bite or two of a packed lunch.

For those longing to get back to nature, there is also an outhouse for your convenience. To make the experience more authentic, there is no running water available.

This small park has purposely been left untouched by the Parks Department, allowing visitors to witness natural beauty in all its splendor. Wildlife, such as, quail, roadrunners, coyotes, kangaroo rats and a variety of snake species habitat the Arthur B. Ripley Woodland Desert Park in abundance. It is certainly not uncommon for hikers to see black-tailed rabbits hopping their way along the various trails.

Things To Do Outside of Arthur B. Ripley Woodland Desert State Park

While you are in this beautiful area, you may want to visit a few nearby attractions. Here’s a few to consider:

Saddleback Butte State Park, which boasts an elevation of 3,651 feet, is just 20 miles east of Lancaster, on the western edge of the Mojave desert. This magnificent granite mountaintop has spectacular views of the Antelope Valley.

Another gorgeous Antelope Valley attraction is the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. Although the poppy, California’s state flower, can be seen all over the region, taking a trip to the poppy reserve will leave you inspired. Miles and miles of the colorful flowers can be seen here covering over 1700 miles of hilltops.

If golfing is more your speed, then try a round at the Rancho Sierra Golf Club. This 9 hole, short course may be just the break you need from hiking the trails of the Arthur B. Ripley Woodland Desert.

General Park Information

Arthur B. Ripley Woodland Desert is located about 7 miles west of the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. The entrance of the park itself is indicated by a single, roadside sign on Lancaster Road at 210th Street West, which is one mile south of State Highway 138 via 210th Street West.

Parking can be found alongside Lancaster Road. To enter, use the walk-through pedestrian gate at the park’s entrance.

Open daily from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year, admission is free for all who wish to enter. Leashed dogs are also welcome.