This sea of wildflowers has you starring in your own Technicolor dream. The sprawling Tejon Ranch is set on 270,000 acres north of Santa Clarita and south of Bakersfield, incorporating parts of the San Joaquin and Antelope Valleys and the Tehachapi Mountains. It is private land, but the Tejon Ranch Conservancy holds guided wildflower viewing, hikes, and bird-watching tours throughout the year.
On a wildflower outing, docents simply tell you to explore the colorful hills, immerse yourself in the flowers, and watch out for snakes. Just be gentle with the flowers and step around them whenever possible. The sound of singing meadowlarks fills the air as cool breezes ripple a sea of flowers. Orange California poppies, purple lupine, yellow daisies and more … just beautiful wildflowers, unobstructed by crowds (group size is limited to 30). Be sure to keep your eyes open for rare yellow poppies! The flowers create a stunning contrast set against the high desert terrain below you and the snowcapped San Gabriel Mountains in the distance as you explore this transition zone of rolling green. The whole scene is surreal—like a very beautiful dream.
Tejon Ranch is located off CA-138 in the Antelope Valley. From the I-5, take CA-138 east toward Lancaster and Palmdale. After approximately 9 miles, you’ll turn left on 300th St. W. to head toward the ranch. Reservations are required for a tour, and once you’re confirmed, the conservancy will send you the exact GPS coordinates for your meeting site. It will entail travel on dirt roads, but high clearance is not required. At least six more wildflower tours are scheduled for this month, but they fill up, so go to the conservancy calendar and book soon. Each individual must book his or her own tour. No dogs.