Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park

Last updated
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
The state park entrance and landscape.
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location Los Angeles County, California, USA
Nearest city Lancaster, California
Coordinates 34°45′33″N118°30′11″W / 34.75917°N 118.50306°W / 34.75917; -118.50306 Coordinates: 34°45′33″N118°30′11″W / 34.75917°N 118.50306°W / 34.75917; -118.50306
Area566 acres (229 ha)
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation
Sunrise at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. Joshua Trees and Junipers are silhouetted against the sun. Sunrise at Arthur B Ripley Desert Woodland State Park.jpg
Sunrise at Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. Joshua Trees and Junipers are silhouetted against the sun.

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park is a state park in the western Antelope Valley in Southern California. The park protects mature stands of Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia) and California juniper trees (Juniperus californica) in their western Mojave Desert habitat.


The park is located in northern Los Angeles County, 20 miles (32 km) west of downtown Lancaster and about 5 miles (8.0 km) from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.


The site was donated to the state by Arthur "Archie" Ripley, and preserves a remnant of Joshua/juniper woodland which once grew in great abundance throughout the valley. Today only remnant parcels of this woodland community remain in the valley, much of the rest having been cleared for farming, housing, [1] and some rather esoteric uses — directions for nighttime automobile travelers in the first half of the 20th century and even pulp for newspaper usage.[ citation needed ] The 566-acre (229 ha) property was officially acquired in 1993. [2]

The Joshua tree played an important part in the cultural history of the Antelope Valley, providing a vital source of food and fiber materials for the Native Americans that inhabited the region. [1]

The Junipers in the park were the subject of botanical research by the late Otis M. (Milt) Stark, a Lancaster wildflower photographer and local historian who was among the volunteers who helped establish trails through the park.

See also

Related Research Articles

Lancaster, California City in California, United States

Lancaster is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 156,633, and in 2018 the population was estimated at 159,053, making Lancaster the 33rd largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale, and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region.

Palmdale, California City in California, United States

Palmdale is a city in northern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. The city lies in the Antelope Valley region of Southern California. The San Gabriel Mountains separate Palmdale from the city of Los Angeles to the south.

Mojave Desert Desert in southwestern United States

The Mojave Desert is an arid rain-shadow desert and the driest desert in North America. It is in the North American Southwest, primarily within southeastern California and southern Nevada, and it occupies 124,000 km2. Small areas also extend into Utah and Arizona. Its boundaries are generally noted by the presence of Joshua trees, which are native only to the Mojave Desert and are considered an indicator species, and it is believed to support an additional 1,750 to 2,000 species of plants. The central part of the desert is sparsely populated, while its peripheries support large communities such as Las Vegas, Barstow, Lancaster, Palmdale, Victorville, and St. George.

Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, USA, between Interstate 15 and Interstate 40. The preserve was established October 31, 1994, with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act by the US Congress. Previously, it was the East Mojave National Scenic Area, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. At 1,542,776 acres (6,243 km2), it is the third largest unit of the National Park System in the contiguous United States.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve natural reserve in California

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is a state-protected reserve of California, USA, harboring the most consistent blooms of California poppies, the state flower. The reserve is located in the rural west side of Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, 15 miles (24 km) west of Lancaster. To the north is Kern County. The reserve is at an elevation ranging from 2,600 to 3,000 feet above sea level, in the Mojave Desert climate zone. The reserve is administered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Other wildflowers within the reserve include the owl's clover, lupine, goldfields, cream cups and coreopsis.

Antelope Valley

Antelope Valley is located in northern Los Angeles County, California, and the southeast portion of Kern County, California, and constitutes the western tip of the Mojave Desert. It is situated between the Tehachapi, Sierra Pelona, and the San Gabriel Mountains. The valley was named for the pronghorns that roamed there until they were all but eliminated in the 1880s, mostly by hunting, or resettled in other areas. The principal cities in the Antelope Valley are Palmdale and Lancaster.

Ecology of California Environments and natural history of California

The ecology of California can be understood by dividing the state into a number of ecoregions, which contain distinct ecological communities of plants and animals in a contiguous region. The ecoregions of California can be grouped into four major groups: desert ecoregions, Mediterranean ecoregions, forested mountains, and coastal forests.

Saddleback Butte State Park

Saddleback Butte State Park is a state park in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert, in Southern California. It is located east of Lancaster, north of the community of Lake Los Angeles, and south of the city of Edwards in the unincorporated city of Hi Vista

Providence Mountains

The Providence Mountains are found in the eastern Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, U.S. The range reaches an elevation of 7,162 feet (2,183 m) at Edgar Peak and is home to the Mitchell Caverns Natural Preserve in the Providence Mountains State Recreation Area, and the Mojave National Preserve.

Darwin Falls Wilderness

The Darwin Falls Wilderness is the area adjacent to Darwin Falls, it has a unique location in the northern Mojave Desert, just west of Death Valley National Park. The Darwin falls Wilderness is a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System rooted by the California Desert Protection Act and guided by the Bureau of Land Management. The Darwin Falls Wilderness Area was founded on October 31, 1994 totaling up to 8,176 acres of land. The Darwin Wilderness is made up of several distinct landmarks, including The Darwin Plateau, an area between The Inyo Mountains to the north, and the Coso Range to the south. The wilderness area is also near the Darwin Hills, a mountain range in Inyo County and the Argus Range, west of the Panamint Range.

High Desert (California) geographic area of southern California

High Desert is an informal designation applied to geographic areas of Southern California that are generally between 2,000 feet (610 m) and 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in elevation, and located in the Mojave and Colorado deserts just north of the San Bernardino and Little San Bernardino Mountains.

Quail Mountain (California) mountain in United States of America

Quail Mountain, at 5,816 feet (1,773 m), is the highest mountain in Joshua Tree National Park and the highest point in the Little San Bernardino Mountains of the very southern reach of the Mojave Desert. It is one of the southernmost peaks in the Transverse Ranges, with the Peninsular Ranges just across the Colorado Desert and Coachella Valley.

Kiavah Wilderness

The Kiavah Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located in the Mojave Desert, Scodie Mountains, and southern Sierra Nevada in Kern County, California, United States. California State Route 178 connects the town of Lake Isabella to State Highway 14 in the east, crossing Walker Pass at the north boundary of the wilderness.

Piper Mountain Wilderness

The Piper Mountain Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located in the White Mountains 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Big Pine, California in Inyo County, California.

Joshua Tree National Park National park of the United States

Joshua Tree National Park is an American national park in southeastern California, east of Los Angeles, near San Bernardino and Palm Springs. The park is named for the Joshua trees native to the Mojave Desert. Originally declared a national monument in 1936, Joshua Tree was redesignated as a national park in 1994 when the U.S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act. Encompassing a total of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island—the park includes 429,690 acres of designated wilderness. Straddling the border between San Bernardino County and Riverside County, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and the lower Colorado Desert. The Little San Bernardino Mountains traverse the southwest edge of the park.

Sylvania Mountains Wilderness

The Sylvania Mountains Wilderness is a federally designated wilderness area located 30 miles (48 km) east of Bishop in the state of California. The wilderness is 18,677acres in size and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 created the Sylvania Mountains Wilderness and was added to the National Wilderness Preservation System. The wilderness is bordered by Nevada stateline on the east, Piper Mountain Wilderness on the west and Death Valley National Park to the south.

Deserts of California

The Deserts of California have unique ecosystems and habitats, a sociocultural and historical "Old West" collection of legends, districts, and communities, and they also form a popular tourism region of dramatic natural features and recreational development. All of the deserts are located in eastern Southern California, in the Western United States.

Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness

The Cleghorn Lakes Wilderness is a 33,475-acre (135.47 km2) wilderness area in the southern Mojave Desert. It is located 16 miles (26 km) northeast of Twentynine Palms, California, and 20 miles (32 km) north of Joshua Tree National Park. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

Hi Vista, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Hi Vista is an unincorporated community in northeastern Los Angeles County, California, United States. Hi Vista is sometimes confused with Lancaster because both communities use the same zip code of 93535.


  1. 1 2 "Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland SP". California State Parks. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  2. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 32. Retrieved 2011-09-30.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)