Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland, seven miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, protects and preserves an impressive stand of native Joshuas and junipers which once grew in great abundance throughout the valley. Donated to the State by farmer Arthur "Archie" Ripley in 1988, few stands of this majestic woodland community remain in the valley, the rest having been cleared for farming, housing, and green energy.
The Joshua tree played an important part in cultural history of Antelope Valley, providing a vital source of food and fiber materials for the Native Americans that inhabited the region. The naming of Joshua as a "tree" is credited to early Mormon settlers who saw the tree with its upraised arms as Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Its actual classification, however, is as a member of the agave family (and formerly in the lily family). In early spring months, creamy white blossoms begin to grow on the ends of the branches of the Joshua. The blooms last for several months, growing larger and larger as the weeks go by. Set in a bed of wildflowers, the Joshua becomes a site of stately beauty. We invite you to walk through this majestic Joshua/juniper woodland, to enjoy its beauty and to share with others the importance of preserving this valuable resource.
We are working to improve accessibility throughout our parks but we regret that there are currently no accessible activities at this park. This may be an undeveloped park, or there may be terrain, historic or resource protection issues or other limiting factors. However, there may be some generally accessible features, such as parking areas, restrooms, and routes of travel, that meet current accessibility standards. Call the park or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Dogs are allowed on-leash, in picnic area only. Dogs are not allowed on trails in California State Parks.
Sunrise to Sunset
Locations - Directions
The park is on Lancaster Road (an extension of West Avenue I), seven miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, or four miles from Highway 138 (Avenue D) and 245th Street West.
The main walk-through entrance can be found near 205th Street West, on the north side of Lancaster Road.
Picnicking: The park features a picnic table under a shade ramada, which offers sun and wind protection.
Hiking: There are two flat, easy nature trails with self-guided brochures.
- The Ripley Nature Trail is 1/4 of a mile, starting at the end of the picnic area. Click here to download the Ripley Nature Trail brochure.
- The Rare Juniper Trail is just under one mile, and starts 100 yards up the Ripley Nature Trail. The brochure highlights unique specimens of California Juniper found in the park, click here to download brochure (formatted for legal size paper).
Enjoy the interpretive displays illustrating the natural and cultural history of the park. There is an outhouse available, but no running water.