Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park is a small, unassuming park with a pair of trails through preserved Juniper and Joshua... more » tree desert forest. This short trail is 0.3 miles long and set up as an Interpretive Trail. Much of this guide will be built around the trail and the park's descriptive guide.
This plot of land was added to the California state park system in 1988 when it was donated to the state by Arthur Ripley. This park serves to preserve one of the last virgin stands of native Joshua and Juniper trees, both of which formerly grew throughout the this valley. Only small parcels of this desert woodland plant community remain, the rest having been cleared for farming and housing.
The Joshuas once provided a vital source of food and fiber materials for the Native Americans that inhabited the region of the Antelope Valley.
The Joshua is as a member of the lily family of plants. Early in the spring, creamy white blossoms start growing on the ends of the tree's branches. These blooms will last for several months, growing larger and larger as the weeks pass.
Why is it called a Joshua Tree? Credit goes to early Mormon settlers saw the tree with its upraised arms and were reminded of the Biblical Joshua who led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Should the park headquarters run out of the interpretive pamphlets, more can be picked up just a few miles down the road at the sector office at Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve..
The start of the nature walk begins at a well-presented billboard kiosk in the park's small picnic area.
The trail is short with no elevation change. less «