Wildflowers at Hungry Valley
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - May 20 2018
The best of the wildflowers are along the main roads of the park. The purple lupine and yellow sunflower-like balsam root are blooming along Spaghetti Pass and giving some color to the arid landscape. Poppies are blooming around Edison Campground and the scarlet bugler near the entrance of Smith Forks is adding a bright red splash to the area. Some new flowers were seen this week such as butterfly Mariposa lilies, Grinnell’s penstemon, sage thistle, larkspur, and cobwebby thistle, but they are scattered throughout the park and you will have to hunt for them!
Drive along Maxey Road towards the Oak Woodland Natural Preserve, between the Tataviam exit and the Oak Woodland Trailhead, and you may get a chance to see some of the butterfly Mariposa lilies along the mountain side of the road! These Mariposa lilies bloom in a variety of colors and there is a nice display next to the road. A few of the tall, stately prickly poppies can also be seen in the area, sporting their large white blooms that look like fried eggs! If you are up for a hike to the Oak Grove, you may find the Grinnell's penstemon that is blooming off of the left fork near the huge oak grandmother tree.
Another side trip to see some unusual flowers sporting their beautiful bloom is off Schmidt Ranch Road between Maxey and Jack Rabbit; on the mountain side of the road there is an area with a large patch of lavender sage thistle.
Though the flowers are sparse, there is still an incredible variety blooming in the yucca flats area between Lane Ranch Campground and Aliklik Campground. Some larkspurs were spotted there this past week, and the yucca are continuing to sprout new buds. This is also a great place to see the beavertail cactus blooming. Wander around this area for some amazing photo opportunities.
The cobwebby thistle is a new bloom seen this week in the south end of the park between Lane Ranch Campground and the south entrance. Look for the tall thistle with the bright pink flowers.
There are still poppies, beavertail cactus, and scarlet buglers scattered throughout the park. The grasslands Wildflower Loop is still worth the drive, though the wildflowers are fading and are mostly congregated in the one area along Powerline between Stipa and Condor trails.
Many of these are two-wheel drive dirt roads; still, you may need high clearance. The roads are narrow, so take advantage of turnouts to allow traffic to pass. Please do not park on any vegetation or block the roads while viewing the flowers. Also, please remember that all plants (and animals) are protected at Hungry Valley, so don’t pick any wildflowers!
Some of the larger bushes are also in bloom around the park; look for the pale purple flowers on the yerba santa, the bright yellow goldenbush, and the white flowers on the elderberry bushes. Though many of the flowers are fading, there are still plenty to see. Plan your visit to Hungry Valley now!
Download the wildflower map for the self-guided tour, or you can go by the entrance station and pick up a wildflower map along with a wildflower guide. Just ask! Please remember that there is a $5 entrance fee for the park.
The warm weather that is bringing out the flowers is also bringing out the snakes. Rattlesnakes are venomous and dangerous, but rarely deadly. Though not normally aggressive, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Please use caution while hiking through the grassy areas looking for flowers, and watch where you are walking.
Wildflowers at Hungry Valley
The park annually publishes an informative guide to the native wildflowers of the Tejon Pass. This year, the park is offering self-guided tours. The wildflower brochure, along with a map and directions, are available at the entrance kiosk.
For an update on the most current flower conditions, wildflower enthusiasts are encouraged to call the numbers listed below, the district office at (661) 248-7007 or to check this webpage before visiting the park. Admission to the park is $5.