The Mojave Area California State Parks recently announced status updates for public use.
Antelope Valley Indian Museum: http://AVIM.parks.ca.gov The museum is open weekends 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; face coverings are required to enter and explore the museum.
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve: The park is open daily for day use and hiking. Visit www.parks.ca.gov/PoppyReserve to view our live PoppyCam.
Red Rock Canyon State Park: The park is fully open. Fires are permitted in designated grills and campground fire pits. The Visitor Center is closed for the summer but will open again starting in October, weekends 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (hours subject to change). www.parks.ca.gov/RedRockCanyonStatePark.
Saddleback Butte State Park: The park is fully open. Fires are permitted in designated grills and campground fire pits. The visitor center is open on weekends 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. www.parks.ca.gov/SaddlebackButte
Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park: Tour reservations will be opening up for the Spring tour season, April-June (dates TBA). www.parks.ca.gov/TomoKahni
Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park: The park is open for day-use and hiking. www.parks.ca.gov/RipleyDesertWoodland
Red Rock Canyon State Park
October 2021 Campfire Program & Nature Walk Schedule
Join us for our Fall guided walks and talks! Learn about natural and cultural history as knowledgeable docents tell you about the unique features of Red Rock Canyon State Park. The visitor center is located at 37749 Abbot Road in Cantil, off Hwy 14, 22 miles north of Mojave. Ricardo Trail, across from the visitor center, is an easy walk on sand.
Please note: Programs are subject to cancellation without notice. Check www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark for latest updates.
Sat., Oct 2, 9:00 a.m.: Docent led nature walk: “A Walk Through Time”. Learn about weather changes, extinct and present wildlife, Native American uses of plants, and geological makeup of Red Rock Canyon. Meet at the Desert View Trailhead near campsite 50.
Sat., Oct 2, dusk: Ridgecrest Astronomy Club will conduct a “Star Party” for viewing planets, constellations, and other celestial objects in the night sky through some amazing telescopes. Meet at the visitor center parking lot area beginning at dusk.
Sat., Oct 9, 9:00 a.m.: Ricardo Nature Trail docent-led nature walk. Learn about various plants and their flowers along with the small animals and how they adapted to the harsh desert environment. Meet at the Ricardo Trailhead across from the visitor center.
Sat., Oct 16, 9:00 a.m.: Ricardo Nature Trail docent-led nature walk. Learn about various plants and their flowers along with the small animals and how they adapted to the harsh desert environment. Meet at the Ricardo Trailhead across from the visitor center.
Sat., Oct 23, 9:00 a.m.: Docent led nature walk: “A Walk Through Time”. Learn about weather changes, extinct and present wildlife, Native American uses of plants, and geological makeup of Red Rock Canyon. Meet at the Desert View Trailhead near campsite 50.
Sat., Oct. 30, 9:00 a.m.: Nightmare Gulch and Silent City Nature Hike: A volunteer docent and the ranger staff will be leading an approximately 3-mile round trip Nature Hike into Nightmare Gulch. Learn some of the history of the park, names of prominent features, and geological formations found throughout the canyon. We might also see plants and animals adapted to this harsh environment during a very dry time of year. Participants should assemble at the Visitor’s Center area parking lot. Bring sturdy hiking shoes/boots, plenty of water (2 quarts +), a good hat, sack lunch, sunscreen and a camera.
Sat., Oct 30, dusk: Ridgecrest Astronomy Club will conduct a “Star Party” for viewing planets, constellations, and other celestial objects in the night sky through some amazing telescopes. Meet at the visitor center parking lot area beginning at dusk.
Camp Hosts Needed at Saddleback Butte State Park
Do you have a trailer and love camping in the desert? Be a Camp Host at Saddleback Butte State Park!
Saddleback Butte is about 1 ½ hours north of Los Angeles near Lancaster, California, at the western end of the Mojave Desert. The park is quiet with a small campground and picnic area, and hiking trails up the desert mountain. The small town of Lake Los Angeles is located 4 miles away.
Hosts must be friendly and have good customer service skills, and be physically able to complete light housekeeping tasks. Duties include greeting visitors and campers, selling firewood, light grounds maintenance and restroom cleaning, opening/closing park gates, and monitoring the water filling/dump station. Daily work hours are generally less than 5 hours a day but vary seasonally, and days off are during the week, but flexible. Camp hosts can also be trained to present weekend interpretive programs if interested.
The Camp Host position is for 3-6 months. The position is available now, and future time periods can also be reserved. Hosts must have their own trailer or RV and pass a background check. Hosts are not paid, but the campsite and hookups are provided for free, and a state-wide California State Parks annual pass is earned after 500 hours of hosting/volunteer service. More info about the position and the park can be found at http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24561. Email Matthew.Willliams@parks.ca.gov for questions, or to apply.
Annual American Indian Celebration at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum
A scaled-down version of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum’s annual American Indian Celebration event is a go for 2021!
On Oct. 16 and 17, from 11 :00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., support American Indian crafters, kids can make a clay bowl, try your luck in the fundraising raffle, and explore the museum. Storytellers Ted and Dennis Garcia will share Chumash stories and songs on Sunday. The Native artists will be selling jewelry, beadwork, gourd art, paintings, and other hand-made items. Out of respect for the health and safety of the Indian community, traditional dancing and drums will not be performed this year.
Beverages and prepackaged snacks will be sold at the event; please note that frybread will not be available this year. However, Los Chiles Mexican Restaurant in Lake Los Angeles will offer a 15% discount for Celebration attendees. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic lunch!
Masks will be required for everyone at the event inside and outside, unless they are eating at a socially distanced table. Admission is $8 for adults; children age 12 and under are free. Parking is free. For more information, phone the museum at (661) 946-3055 (711 TTY relay service), or visit our website at www.avim.parks.ca.gov. We look forward to seeing you in person in October!
When: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-17, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Antelope Valley Indian Museum, 15701 East Avenue M, Lancaster, California.
From the 14 Freeway in Lancaster, go east on Avenue K to 150th Street East, then follow the signs to the museum.
Cost: $8 for adults. Children age 12 and under are free.
Contact: Peggy Ronning, Peggy.Ronning@parks.ca.gov, (661) 946-6900
National Public Lands Day Event:
Saddleback Butte State Park Habitat Cleanup
Celebrate your public lands by giving back to your local parks! As part of the annual National Public Lands Day, Saddleback Butte State Park is leading a habitat cleanup on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 9:00 a.m. to noon, starting at the campground’s campfire center.
Litter in the park, dropped by careless visitors or blown in from the road, is dangerous for wildlife and unsightly in nature. Volunteers are needed to pick up wrappers, cups, balloons, and other debris tangled in bushes near the campground and along the fence line. This activity involves walking through soft sand and/or compacted dirt road for the distance of your choice. Those who wish to trek far should be sure to arrive early!
Park entrance fees will be waived for participants. Kids will receive a complimentary Litter Getter Magnet and adults get a day use pass for any of the 11 California State Parks in the Great Basin District, to thank you for your stewardship! Please note that dogs are only allowed in the campground, picnic area, and park road (no dogs on trails in State Parks).
Check in at the campfire center at the south end of the campground for registration and litter pickup supplies (bags and latex-free gloves). Bring lunch, water, layered clothing with long pants, and sun protection. Bringing your own reusable gloves and water bottles will help conserve resources! Pre-registration is not required, but participants may RSVP in advance at www.Facebook.com/SaddlebackButte.
Coordinated each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), National Public Lands Day brings together volunteers from coast to coast to improve and restore the lands and facilities that people across America use and enjoy every day. Each year, National Public Lands Day volunteers provide tens of millions of dollars’ worth of services that would otherwise take limited park staff months to accomplish. Please note: the official NPLD, sponsored by Toyota Motor North America, is September 25th; the event at Saddleback is held a month later when the desert is cooler. For questions about this event, call (661) 753-6233 or email Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov. For information about the park, visit www.parks.ca.gov.
When: Saturday, Oct. 23, 9:00 a.m. to noon
Where: Check in at Saddleback Butte State Park Campground, 17071 East Avenue K in Lancaster (East Avenue K and 170th Street East, near Lake Los Angeles).
From Hwy 14, follow Ave K east past 150th St. East. Road becomes K-8; make a left on 170th Street East back to Avenue K. Make a right, and the campground entrance is on the left.
Contact: Jean Rhyne, (661) 753-6233, Jean.Rhyne@parks.ca.gov
Upcoming events: More info to come!
- Antelope Valley Indian Museum Docent Training: AVIM will be offering a docent training for those interested in volunteering on weekends in the museum and at special events. Experienced docents may also assist with school programs and group tours, if interested. The training focuses on the American Indian cultures of the Antelope Valley and adjacent regions, the history of the museum, how to staff the museum, and interpretive/educational techniques.
The 2-day training will be held on Saturdays (dates TBA); both training days must be attended. Docents are expected to volunteer a minimum of once per month. No prior experience is necessary, and all ages and backgrounds are welcome.
For questions, contact Museum Curator Peggy Ronning at Peggy.Ronning@parks.ca.gov or (661) 946-6900 . More information and training dates will be announced shortly!