Wildflowers at Hungry Valley
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - June 4, 2017
There are still flowers blooming with a nice display of datura at the north entrance. The poppies are scattered, but there are several other plants in bloom along the roads in the grasslands heading toward Condor Mesa. Along the way, watch for the prickly poppies and California primrose in full bloom with their large white showy blossoms. The lupine and chia are still flowering, adding some purple to the landscape. The bush mallow is just starting to bloom with its pale pinkish-purple flowers.
The Mariposa lilies alone are worth the trip to Condor Mesa. There are several colors in bloom and quite a few congregated on the mesa. Please remember that the road to Condor Mesa is narrow and steep; 4WD is recommended. Be especially careful on the blind corners!
The yucca continues to bloom throughout the park and even has new buds sprouting, so the show should continue for a few more weeks. The paintbrush is adding a splash of red around the park and was seen on the hillsides with the speckled clarkia. The speckled clarkia is also known as farewell-to-spring, and, with the wildflower season winding down, this will be the last report for this year.
There are still plenty of flowers to be seen, the weather is beautiful and the crowds are light; it’s a great time to plan a trip to Hungry Valley! Have a safe summer and enjoy the park!
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - May 21, 2017
While many of the flowers have faded, the warm weather and the rain a few weeks ago have encouraged the California poppies! The orange patches of poppies are getting larger and are easier to see as the grass turns brown. There are several nice displays along the north entrance road and in the grasslands. The prickly poppies can also be seen around the park with their large showy white flowers on tall prickly stalks.
New bloomers are still being found; the larkspur has flowered above the fiddlenecks along Powerline Road near Badger, and the chaparral nightshade was spotted in the grasslands as well. The golden yarrow has added a splash of yellow to many areas of the park.
The yerba santa continues to blossom along several of the roads and trails with its pale purple flowers. The bladderpod is fading flower-wise, but the large green seed pods now illustrate the name. The yuccas are in full bloom in the south end of the park.
Two types of the Mariposa lily are blooming along the north entrance road and the S curve near Smith Forks. The desert Mariposa lily is a deep orange while the butterfly Mariposa lily comes in several shades, with burgundy being seen on the hill above the kiosk.
Remember that the warm weather that brings out the flowers also brings out the snakes, so watch where you walk and where you put your hands. Rattlesnakes will defend themselves if they feel threatened, so please keep your distance.
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - May 14, 2017
There are still plenty of flowers to brighten your Mother’s Day! The poppies are continuing to bloom in the grasslands, though the grass is getting quite tall now and they can be hard to see. There is a nice display off of Badger and Powerline without too much grass.
Head up to Condor Mesa to see some lupine, chia, and the newly-blooming globe gilia sharing space on the road cuts. The purple gilia and the chia look similar, but the chia has several round flower heads on its stalk and the globe gilia has one.
In the south end of the park, the beavertail cactus and the yucca are still blossoming and the yucca buds continue to sprout, which means the bloom will last a while longer. Another new flower for this spring is the thistle sage, now blooming in a small patch near Lane Ranch.
The wildflowers are beautiful and so is the weather! We wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and hope it is filled with flowers, family fun, and a trip to Hungry Valley!
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - May 7, 2017
Though many of the annual flowers have faded, there is still plenty of color throughout the park. Lupine and balsam root are still blooming along Spaghetti Pass and the California primrose can be seen along the roadside near the pavilion with its big white blossoms.
There are still small patches of California poppies around the park, showing their bright orange color. Another poppy has made an appearance; watch for the prickly poppies on their tall stalks with flowers that look fried eggs.
Another new flower on the scene is the Mariposa lily; look for the delicate, dark orange flower on the S curve near Smith Forks.
The south end of the park has a lot of yerba santa blooming; the large bushes are covered with pale purple flowers. Check out the wild cucumber vines in that area; though the blooms are long gone, the fruit is quite interesting. Some of the elderberry bushes are almost completely white with flowers.
The yuccas are still sending up new stalks, so the flowers should be showy for the next few weeks; the trails through the yucca forest are spectacular right now. Come out and ride!
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - April 30, 2017
While a lot of the early bloomers have faded, other plants have started to blossom. If you come in the south entrance you will notice the bright pink of the beavertail cactus just past the oaks and at the yucca flats. The yucca is still putting on a show and it appears that even more will be blooming in the next week.
Heading toward Lane Ranch Campground, the yerba santa bushes are in full bloom along the road with their pale purple flowers. The elderberry, large shrubs with lacy white blossoms, are also flowering there and in other areas in the park.
Scarlet bugler is blooming in some places in the park with a nice patch found at the entrance to Smith Forks. There is still some purple sage at the S curves near that campground.
The bladderpod bush is going to seed throughout the park; its seedpods illustrate the name. Along Spaghetti Pass, the yellow silver puff has also gone to seed with the round seed head explaining the name of the flower. The bush lupine is in full bloom on the pass, and some poppies can be seen in small patches there and in the grasslands.
Please remember that the warm weather is bringing out the snakes. Watch where you walk and avoid the rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes, though dangerous, are rarely deadly. However, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened, so keep your distance.
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - April 23, 2017
Heading into the park from the north will take you past some nice bush lupine and the sunflower-looking balsam root. The fiddleneck flowers that have faded in the grasslands have taken over much of the valley floor, adding their golden hue to the yellow landscape. The desert primrose is beginning to make an appearance and are easy to identify from the big white flowers.
The purple sage is in full bloom along the S curves near Smith Forks and on the road toward Piru Creek and a lot of scarlet buglers are being seen. More and more of the yucca are blooming and are starting to put on a show between Aliklik and Lane Ranch campgrounds.
Come out for the last Red Sticker week to get your rides in, and enjoy the wildflowers while you are here!
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - April 16 2017
Spring has sprung and the park is awash in yellow blooms throughout the valley. Poppies are popping up in the grasslands, but are mostly scattered individual plants.
The bush lupine is showy along Spaghetti Pass and there is a nice patch of the purple phacelia as you drop into the valley. Baby blues eyes and filaree can still be found in areas, but the fiddlenecks are fading fast.
The bright yellow valley sunflowers near Sterling Campground are eye-catching and the paintbrush is beginning to add some red splotches to the landscape along with the scarlet bugler. The yuccas are starting to bloom in the south end of the park and are worth a gander.
The warm weather has brought out the snakes. Though rattlesnakes are rarely deadly, they are dangerous and should be avoided; they will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Please remember to watch for snakes as you are looking at the wildflowers.
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - April 9 2017
The variety of flowers blooming inside the park has increased in the last week. While the poppies are still scarce, there are large pinkish orange swatches in the grasslands and around the park that may look like poppies in the distance. Look closely and you will see that it is the stems of the miner’s lettuce casting the orange hue; the flowers themselves are quite small and white. Patches of purple phacelia, with an occasional white morph, are still blooming in the grasslands.
As you enter the park from the north, several varieties of lupine are visible with varying shades of purple mixed among the pinkish filaree and the yellow silver puffs along Spaghetti Pass. There is a lot of yellow throughout the park with the bladderpod, golden bush and goldfields still in bloom and a nice bright patch of valley sunflowers near Sterling Campground. The red maids are showy and randomly scattered through the park; look for the bright pink.
The purple sage has started blooming near the S curve approaching Smith Forks. Further south, there are still tidy tips among the goldfields. Wild rhubarb is near the road by Lane Ranch Campground and the yucca is budding out dramatically. The valley oaks are blooming near the south entrance. Between the south entrance and the freeway are some white lupines and chia blooming on the hillsides.
Please remember that the warm weather is bringing out the snakes, so watch where you are walking. Come out for a ride and enjoy the wildflowers while you are here!
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - April 2, 2017
The California poppies are barely starting at Hungry Valley with just a few random plants here and there, but are in full bloom at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster. Tejon Pass is continuing to color up with large swatches of yellow and purple on the hillsides.
Within the park, the grasslands are beginning to show some color with small patches of baby blue eyes and lupine. The phacelia is still impressive along Spaghetti Pass, behind Sterling Campground and in Redtail Canyon with large purple areas quite visible from a distance.
In the south, the yuccas are beginning to sprout and should be quite showy in a few weeks. Indian paintbrush is also just starting to bloom, so watch for the red-tipped bushes as you explore.
The goldenbush and bladderpod are adding yellow splotches all over most of the park and there are still a lot of goldfields throughout the park, but the patch near the south entrance glows in the distance.
Please remember that the warm weather that brings out the flowers also brings out the rattlesnakes, so watch where you walk. As the grass gets taller, the rattlesnakes are especially hard to see, so please use caution when walking through tall, thick grass.
Photo by K. Nolan
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - March 26, 2017
The grasslands are slow to show bright color yet, but the deep golden-hued fiddleneck and the pinkish filaree are in abundance.
Though just starting in the valley, the flowers are beginning to get showy with purple patches of phacelia found behind Sterling Campground and north of Circle Campground; 4WD recommended to access these sites, though they are visible from Gold Hill Road if you are northbound.
The goldfields have exploded in many areas of the park, but are especially eye-catching at the practice track. The white daisy-like tidy tips are blooming between Aliklik and Lane Ranch Campgrounds among the goldfields. Further south, the blue dicks are starting to open on their long, slender stems.
Come out and play; and while you are here, enjoy the wildflowers!
Hungry Valley Wildflower Report - March 19, 2017
Flowers in the park are barely starting, but enjoy the view as you drive to the park with the splashes of yellow coreopsis and fiddleneck in Tejon Pass. Poppies are scarce here, right now, but are reported to be showing color along Highway 138 toward the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve near Lancaster.
Within the park, the area around Meadows trail has a light pinkish purple groundcover of filaree, and goldfields and golden bush are starting to show in places along Schmidt Ranch road. The manzanita bushes are covered with pinkish white blossoms along the Oak Grove hiking trail.
Take a drive along the frontage road between Smokey Bear Rd and Gorman to see Joshua trees in bloom. Further north are patches of pale purple phacelia among the yellow valley sunflowers and fiddleneck. The white flowers of the wild cucumber vine sprawl in spots and glow in the morning light.
Also, along the frontage road are bladderpod bushes, showy with their yellow blossoms, and the bush lupine is starting to bloom with their fragrant deep purple flowers.
Please remember that the warm weather that brings out the flowers also brings out the snakes; walk carefully to avoid stepping on flowers, and snakes! Though rattlesnakes are dangerous, they are rarely deadly; however, please keep your distance and let them go on their way.The flowers should really be popping out over the next few weeks so plan your trip to Hungry Valley now!
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.