The reserve at Piñon Hills is a private Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy property in the eastern Antelope Valley, in the general vicinity of Piñon Hills and south of Fort Tejon Road. It supports a desert woodland of California juniper and Joshua tree. A rich diversity of desert shrubs is distributed over the property. The higher elevations (southern part) of the reserve include a forest of juniper; pure stands of juniper are highly unusual. Except for adjacent dirt roads, no significant land disturbance has occurred for a number of miles on any side of the property — it's in nearly pristine condition. The reserve is completely undeveloped, with no boundary markers, no signs, and an unmade access road.
Our visit to the Piñon Hills reserve was one of a series of annual desert field trips by our CNPS chapter. This was one of the drier years, with relatively few wildflowers blooming. A visit in the previous June found 27 native plants in bloom. Our visit, in April, did not find so many different blooms, but there was still much to discover. In fact, we added to the plant list so that the total count is now over 50 species. Click here for the plant list.
The images on this page are all from the scouting trip a few days prior to the official chapter outing. Click on the thumbnails to see high-resolution images, 720 x 480 pixels.
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Images © 2013-2017 Graham Bothwell.
Thanks to Mickey Long, Jane Strong, and Jane Tirrell for assistance in identification of plants and flowers.