“You’re off to a great place, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way” Dr. Seuss
- Run or Hike: Hike
- Date: 24 March 2019
- Distance: (Garmin) 4.85 Miles
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Elevation Gain (Garmin): 1224 ft
- Elapsed Time: 1:37:25
- Max Elevation (Garmin): 4643 ft
- Min Temp (Garmin): 64.4 F
- Max Temp (Garmin): 84.2 F
- Avg Temp: 75.8 F
- Start Time: 0914
Park where the Pacific Crest Trail meets San Francisquito Canyon Road just northeast of Green Valley, Ca.
GPS Map of My Hike:
First, it was NOT 76 degrees outside. I have no idea what my Garmin was thinking. My goal was to check out the poppy spectacle happening down at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve without the hassle of dealing with the crowds. I wanted to show that you really can take a gorgeous photos of the poppies without stepping off the trail (a lot of people have been trampling the poppies in Lancaster and Lake Elsinore trying to take the perfect selfie, basically killing the plants).
I did a little research on AllTrails and noticed that hiking up Grass Mountain via the PCT would get me a great vantage of the reserve, from over 4000ft up.
Like many trails in this region, you park and start hiking straight up immediately. The PCT is always well maintained, and with all of the rain California has been having, the trail was damp, with a soft sand feel. By coincidence I suppose, I never saw another person, there were a few other cars parked along the road, but everyone must have gone the other way. You have to leave the PCT about 2/3 of the way up and take the Grass Mountain Fire Road to reach the summit. At the top you will see a radio tower, a weather station, and some other antennas. There are a bunch of trees providing a lot of shade with some really nice views of Green Valley to the south and the Antelope Valley (and the Poppy Fields) to the north.
I thought there would be more wild flowers on the way up, but they may be delayed a bit at altitude this year.
This hike is worth doing in the early spring before it gets too hot, the parking was a breeze, the trail was clean, and the views were spectacular.
Here is the elevation profile to help you pace this hike in the future:
A Few Photos I took with a Nikon D3400 (Pity I didn’t bring a zoom lens)