Aptly named after the Pronghorn antelopes that are said to have roamed the desert floor until being eliminated by hunters in the 1880s, Antelope Valley is a unique blend of remote desert landscapes and cutting edge technology.
Known as the “ aerospace capital of the world, ” The principal cities in the area are Palmdale and Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County and Rosamond in the southeastern portion of Kern County.
It is the most western tip of the Mojave Desert situated between the Tehachapi and the San Gabriel Mountain ranges.
The best time to visit is in the fall or spring as summer temperatures can soar well into triple digits. One of the areas unique attractions is the musical road. This “noteworthy” section of road is located between 30th and 40th Streets West on Avenue G in Lancaster.
Originally constructed for a Honda car commercial, it was removed after neighbors complained about the noise. But the musical road has returned as the City of Lancaster decided to construct a new road on the less populated stretch of Avenue G.
Once again music lovers can enjoy “The William Tell Overture” as they drive down a remote, but a scenic stretch of road on the outskirts of town.
Continuing west on Avenue G approximately 12 miles, you will soon arrive at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. From March through May, these lazy, rolling foothills are painted with the vibrant orange of California’s native flower. This piece of heaven is highly recommended and is a great place for the entire family.
If looking for more bite to your adventure, then a visit to the Exotic Feline Breeding Compound in nearby Rosamond is sure to please. Also known as the “Cat House.”
This conservation center offers feline fanatics of all ages the most up close personal experiences of the world’s coolest endangered species of exotic wildcats in a more intimate setting without the large crowds encountered at bigger zoos.
Admission is more than affordable; just $5 for adults, even cheaper for seniors and kids. Parking is free. The compound is located off Rosamond Blvd. near Edwards Air Force Base and is open to the public 10 am-4 pm daily except Wednesdays.
There are also special “Twilight Tours” from 5 pm to 8 pm where guests are given special access to all the areas that are normally off-limits.
Finally, for techies, aviation addicts and military buffs the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards Air Force Base has reopened to the public, complete with a new parking facility and free shuttle service to the museum.
Edwards has been the world’s premiere flight-testing and flight-research center since the 1940s and is considered by many to be the birthplace of supersonic flight.
The museum offers visitors have the opportunity to see nearly 40 historic aircraft as well as other various artifacts including aircraft propulsion systems, missiles, life support equipment, technical drawings, personal memorabilia, photographs, and wind tunnel models.
To visit Edwards Air Force Base you must clear a security screening by providing your full name, social security number or driver’s license number, and date and place of birth at least one week in advance.
Ninety-minute walking tours are generally open to the public on the first and third Friday of each month.
Tours include a visit to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, a presentation at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum, and a windshield tour of the Edwards Air Force Base flight line. The free museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Other attractions in the area are Devils Punchbowl, Blackbird Airpark, Littlerock Dam and Recreation Area, and the Shambala Preserve.
Antelope Valley is located approximately 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles and is accessed via California State Route 14.