Hungry Valley Wildflower Report May 14, 2014
Groups of orange poppies scatter the hillsides and valleys throughout the north grasslands. Some of the best poppy viewing can be found via Badger Trail, Power Line Road and Stipa Trail. The southern grasslands still have poppies, but not quite as much. Grape Soda Lupine shows up sporadically with the poppies creating a feast for the eyes. One of the standouts this year is Spencer Primrose seen along Power Line Rd. (east of the Power Line Rd. Condor Trail intersection). This bright yellow flower covers large sections of hillside. Indian paintbrush, Davy’s Gilia and California Chia grow alongside Condor trail with beautiful blue-purple areas consisting entirely of California Chia and Globe Gilia. An abundance of Mariposa Lilies line Condor trail and they are just beginning to bloom. On the mesa, more Spencer Primrose and poppies are found with a light sprinkling of California Chia and Blue Dick.
In the southern grasslands, Wheatfield Trail passes through patches of poppies and Fiddleneck mixed with the emerald green grasses. The frequent winds create rolling waves with the grasses and poppies delighting the senses. Turning west on Power Line from Wheatfield Trail areas of Desert Dandelion, Desert Tidy Tips, Coreopsis and Fremont Pincushion are abundant. Lacy Phacelia is seen throughout the southern grasslands and beautiful when mixed with the poppies. Be prepared for an amazing display of butterflies and colorful moths as they feed and flutter by. Be careful to not catch them in your vehicle if you leave the windows down and if you do please let them out as their home is here. If you choose to continue west along Power Line Rd., you will find some small roadside cuts with mixtures of poppies, Blue Dick, California Chia, Coreopsis and Scarlet Bugler. Views of the park from Power Line Rd. are a wonderful addition to the flowers as it climbs and then descends to Gold Hill Rd.
Indian Paintbrush, Prickly Poppy, Thistle Sage and Tidy Tips line Schmidt Ranch Rd. in various areas. Traveling east on Schmidt Ranch Rd. just before and after the turn on to Maxey Ranch Rd. Desert Mariposa stand out with their intense orange red color. More are found beside Maxey Ranch Rd. en route to the Oak Woodland Natural Preserve. The preserve is a serene place to walk and commune with ancient Oak trees. With a natural spring nearby and shade from the oaks, wildlife, or their tracks can often be found here.
Scarlet Bugler fans will find quite a few of these glowing beauties bordering the wood rail fence at the entrance to Smithforks Campground from Gold Hill Rd.
Some of the best areas for viewing wildflowers as mentioned above are part of a self-guided tour created by the park. Free guide brochures are provided at kiosks as you enter the park, be sure to ask for one. This self-guided tour begins at the north entrance area Visitor’s Center. Golden Poppies on pale blue signs mark the route. The brochure provides a map to help you stay on track and information on our most prevalent wildflowers. OHV traffic on the trails can be busy on spring weekends. Weekdays are recommended for leisurely viewing of the colorful flower displays.[5/14/14]
Wildflowers at Hungry Valley
The wildflowers of Tejon Pass are world renown for their color and abundance. In spring, California Poppies, Goldfields, Lupine, Tidy Tips and other flowers turn the grassy hillsides brilliant shades of orange, yellow and purple. During wildflower season, Hungry Valley SVRA has a self-guided tour route that begins at the Visitor Center and is marked by distinctive blue and white flower signs. (Download the PDF version of the wildflower tour map
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.