(Last Updated On: )

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park on a clear day

Deep within the western Mojave Desert habitat surrounded by Joshua trees and California juniper trees lies Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. This scenic area lies only 27 miles west of Lancaster in the historic Antelope Valley region of southern California.

This beautiful area, also just 7 miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, features opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, wildflower viewing, and picnicking. The mature Joshua and Juniper trees once covered this valley; what remains today is protected by this California state park.

Activities

Spend a relaxing day in the Mojave Desert appreciating life at its most serene. Plan ahead and enjoy lunch in one of the scenic picnic areas; learn more about the historic Joshua Tree, native plants, wildflowers, and wildlife as you walk along the 2 nature trails.

Spend a few peaceful hours at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park and then visit nearby Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve for more hiking trails, wildflowers, and wildlife viewing visit.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park:

Hiking at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park offers guests two nature trails to explore. These scenic trails stretch throughout the park, highlighting its beautiful rustic features.

a hiking trail at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Discover the majestic Joshua and California Juniper woodland as you walk along these picturesque trails. Self-guided brochures illustrating the natural and cultural history of the park are available for each trail. Be sure to bring plenty of drinking water with you before entering the park; an outhouse is available inside the park, but not water.

Here are a couple of the trails at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park:

  • The Ripley Nature Trail – An easy 1/4 mile trail that begins near the picnic area and winds through the park’s native flora and fauna.
  • The Rare Juniper Trail – An easy one mile trail that highlights the beautiful California Juniper trees found within the park.

Birding at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

While hiking and exploring inside Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of birds. Here are some to keep an eye out for: Mountain Bluebird, Common Raven, Mourning Dove, Peregrine Falcon, House Sparrow, Lesser Goldfinch, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco, Cooper’s and Red-tailed Hawk, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Flicker, Hermit Thrush, Mountain Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Western Tanager, and the Northern Mockingbird.

Nature and Wildlife at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Joshua trees and a California juniper forest surround Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. This western Mojave Desert habitat showcases a variety of plant life such as California buckwheat, golden bush, Mormon tea, blue sage, beavertail cactus, chia, rock cress, golden gilia, filaree, goldfields, coreopsis, and pennyroyal.

Joshua trees at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Native animals that you may cross paths with include Antelope Ground Squirrels, Black-tailed Jack Rabbits, Cottontail Rabbits, coyotes, woodrats, meadow mice, King Snakes, and rattlesnakes.

Pets

Pets are only allowed in the picnic area at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. Dogs must be supervised and kept on a leash no longer than 6-feet.

Camping

Nearby Saddleback Butte State Park, located at 43230 172nd Street in East Lancaster, has 50 non reservable campsites for tents or RVs. Each campsite has a picnic table, shade ramada, barbeque grill, and a fire ring, and is located near restrooms with drinking water and flush toilets. No showers located inside the park.

A large group camp area, The Joshua Group Camp, is available by reservation for groups of up to 30 people. Contact the Mojave Sector Office at (661) 946-6092 for more information.

Park Location

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
205th St W
Lancaster, CA 93536
Phone: 661.946.6092

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park: