Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
This year's wildflower bloom is a superbloom! Lake Elsinore, Anza-Borrego, Antelope Valley, and more are all covered in wildflowers. Lake Elsinore in particular has gotten hammered by crowds, so instead of taking the Chen-Wu family there, we headed to Antelope Valley, hoping the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve would be less crowded and almost as spectacular.
Turns out we made a good choice. Still had to part on the side of the road, even with a late morning weekday arrival, but it was pretty awesome. Baby (er, toddler) Lucas managed to make it 2 miles of walking/carrying, and by the time we left at noon, the flowers, the orange-red Eschscholzia californica (California poppy), yellow Amsinckia menziesii (Menzies' fiddleneck), purple Erodium cicutarium (red stemmed filaree), and others were in their full glory.
Flowers in some areas on the side of the road were almost as dense and beautiful as the reserve itself, particularly the mile or so east of the reserve, as well as a few patches further down on Munz Ranch Road. Friggin' gorgeous.
Wrapped up with lunch at Vietnamese Noodles in Palmdale. Surprisingly good for being out in the desert; solid but basic pho, broken rice, and spring rolls.