Underrated Scenic Escape: Prime Desert Woodland Preserve

First bridge into the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve.

Picture by Tiffani Pe

First bridge into the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve.

Nestled on 43201 35th St W, Lancaster is a triumph of scenic preservation. Established by the Lancaster City Council and locals, the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve is a vast hundred acres full of Joshua trees, California Junipers, and tumbleweeds. Wild hares, lizards, hawks, songbirds, and a variety of other species can all be found in the vast expanse of undisturbed wilderness, waiting to be discovered by your wandering eyes.

An introduction to the North Trail of the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve. (Picture by Tiffani Pe)

For first-time visitors, the area is a beautiful learning experience. The Antelope Valley may not be all fresh green grass and wild roses, but the various signs by the trails offer backstory to the land we live in.

A passing trail walker praised the accessible paths, citing the flat roads as a perfect trail to enjoy with a friend. “The preserve caters to many interests, whether people are more into bird-watching or the flora and fauna.” I also asked a mother of seven, Shadia Alfarah, about her favorite aspect of hiking; she replied: “The best thing about the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve is that it engages my kids, getting them outdoors and off their iPads.”

The story of the pioneer cowboys of the AV is revealed near the start of the trail. (Picture by Tiffani Pe)

Additionally located on the premises is the Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center, open on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Named after devoted environmentalist Elizabeth “Elyze” Clifford, Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History (MOAH) produced an exhibition that explores animals, flora, geology, and tribes through multiple physical displays, informational boards, and paintings. With kind and communicative staff eager to answer my queries about the exhibitions, I had no issue diving into the works on display.

An assortment of ancient items (such as a replica of a T-Rex skull). (Picture by Tiffani Pe)
Thorough explanations of Mojave animals can be found in the center.

Ultimately, if you need an educationally enjoyable event to spend an evening on, check it out! The Prime Desert Woodland Preserve organizes frequent Moon Walks across the distant wildlands. Join local astronomy experts for stargazing and exploration as you walk down the paths under the starry dark evenings. The one-mile hike allows tourists to learn about constellations, observe the cosmos through advanced telescopes, and enjoy nature’s dark side.

A desert cottontail huddles near a tree. (Picture by Tiffani Pe)

To avoid soaring high temperatures, I recommend visiting in the early morning (6 a.m. – 9 a.m.) or near nighttime (8 p.m. – 10 p.m.). Stay safe, drink plenty of water, and take care where you step! Enjoy the trail with your family and friends, but keep the pets, skating, and bicycles at home.