Arthur B. Ripley Desert State Park
Antelope Valley area abundant in woods and wildlife as they ventured through the landscape preserved by the Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. The park is fully enclosed and accessible only on foot. The main gate is located on Lancaster Road near 205th Street West. A self-guided nature trail starts at the entrance, and a trail brochure highlights the history of the woodlands and the unique plants and animals found there. Perhaps the most surprising flora along the trails are the transgender California junipers. Whereas most junipers bear either berries (female) or cones (male), a few trees along the Rare Juniper Trail have been observed to change sex over the course of time. At one time they had both male cones and female berries. Today they display only their cones. Junipers are extremely drought-resistant. The long tap root collects moisture from deep in the ground, peripheral roots collect surface moisture, and the leaves are tightly bound in the twigs, which reduces moisture loss. Along with the junipers and Joshua trees, you’ll also find blue sage, beavertail cacti and many seasonal wildflowers and grasses. The most common types of wildlife found in the park are black-tailed jackrabbits and occasionally cottontails. Other creatures frequenting the park are woodrats, ground squirrels, coyotes, ravens and kangaroo rats. Birdwatchers may spot ravens, morning doves and roadrunners while reptile followers may find king snakes, rattlesnakes and a wide variety of lizards. As with all state parks, pets are not allowed.