California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter

Desert Pines County Wildlife Sanctuary

Desert Pines is a small, 100-acre reserve in the far northwest of Los Angeles County, on the edge of the Mojave Desert, immediately north of the Liebre Mountains, and several miles west of the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. It has the distinction of having gray pines from the mountain slopes interfacing with Joshua trees on the desert floor. The diversity of flora is greater than for any other of the Los Angeles County wildlife reserves.

All of the photos here are from an outing of our CNPS chapter to Desert Pines in April 24, 2010, led by Mickey Long, who has a longstanding interest in keeping track of the flora and fauna of the reserve. Getting to Desert Pines is not so straightforward, requiring knowledge of the appropriate back roads, and it has no facilities, not even for parking. It certainly is a gem in a place where few untouched areas remain.

Click on the thumbnails to see higher-resolution images, 720 x 480 pixels.

Where mountains meet desert

The landscape and environment of
Desert Pines Wildlife Sanctuary

CNPS visitors at Desert PInes

Carpet of wildflowers

White tidy tips (Layia glandulosa), mixed with desert dandelion and goldfields (left and center) and with coreopsis (right)

California tickseed (Coreopsis californica var. californica)

Suncups (Camissonia bistorta)

Parry's linanthus (Linanthus parryae)

Chia (Salvia columbariae)

Mormon tea
(Ephedra nevadensis)

Purple nightshade
(Solanum xanti)

Fremont's pincushion (Chaenactis fremontii)

Desert dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata)

Popcorn flower
(Cryptantha sp.)

Strigose lotus
(Lotus strigosus)

Scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius)

Carpet of flowers

MIckey Long talks to CNPS group about the gray pine (Pinus sabiniana) — tree at rear (1)

Veatch's blazing star
(Mentzelia veatchiana)

Blue sage (Salvia dorrii var. pilosa)

Carpet of wildflowers

Zebra-tailed lizard (1)

Possibly cushion cryptantha (Cryptantha circumscissa)

Parish's monkeyflower (Mimulus parishii) (1)

(Uropappus lindleyi)

An expanse of wildflowers

Mojave suncup (Camissonia campestris ssp. campestris)

Tansy phacelia
(Phacelia tanacetifolia)

Bajada lupine
(Lupinus concinnus)

Baby blue eyes
(Nemophila menziesii)

Goldfields (Lasthenia sp.)


CNPS chapter field outing to Desert Pines

Poppies along the road out

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Images marked with a the numeral 1 in parentheses (1) are © 2010-2019 Mickey Long
All other images copyright © 2010-2019 Graham Bothwell
Thanks to Jane Strong for assistance in identification of plants and flowers.