Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon: Saddleback Butte State Park, Antelope Valley: Grade easy to moderate. Leader Mickey Long.
Please check the LAST MINUTE STATUS paragraph at the bottom of this field trip notice.
This trip will explore the plants and ecology of the central Antelope Valley. The leader will discuss the ecosystem as a whole, plants, birds, reptiles and desert ecology with emphasis on vegetation. We hope the great rains were sufficient to provide for wildflowers, but desert plants are interesting regardless. We may hike part of the trail (2.5 mi.) to the top of the butte. A second stop somewhere in bloom may be an option.
Directions: Saddleback Butte is located approximately 17 miles East of Lancaster. Take the 14 (Antelope Valley Fwy) north to exit at East Avenue “J” in Lancaster. Travel east on Avenue J to the junction with 170th St. east. Meet at 8:30 a.m. along the dirt shoulder at the junction of Ave. J and 170th. Water and toilets are located near the picnic area inside the State Park. Wear good sturdy shoes or boots, a hat, bring water and snacks, and a lunch if you wish to join us at the covered picnic areas. There is an entrance fee of $6 per car.
Further information: Check out http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=618. Click on “Brochures” and download the Park Brochure for a park map & directions.
LAST MINUTE STATUS: An April 15 pre-trip scouting visit to Saddleback Butte State Park, our meeting place for Saturday, revealed almost no flowering left at the site. We will still meet at the corner of Ave. J and 170th St. E. and gather folks up for a short drive to see the Desert Candles to the northeast. Our first stop will be along 200th St. E. about 1 mile N. of Ave. G. From Saddleback Butte that's 3 miles east on Ave. J then left (north) on 200th St. E. to about 1 mi. north of Ave. G. These are first paved then good dirt roads. From there we will later travel some distance south to along Black Butte Basin Rd., N. of Hwy 138, where flowers were very nicely in bloom and in variety.