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Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary

Tehachapi Mountains + Western Mojave Desert, California

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Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary

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  • Sign along Avenue O. There are no main entrances, but Avenue O makes as a good a place as any to begin your walk.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The sanctuary benefits from colorful sunrises and sunsets, especially combined with the distant San Gabriel Mountains and visible urban lights of Palmdale and Lancaster in the background.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • A soft-sand track through the sanctuary is not recommended for travel. It's better to park on the outskirts of the area and walk in.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The sanctuary is home to some of the tallest Joshua Trees in Los Angeles County.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Animal tracks are visible on the ground, such as this snake track.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Creosote scrub and Joshua trees dot the environment.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Colorful sunrises and Joshua trees.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Signs of past human habitation.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Joshua trees at dawn.- Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
No crowds. Photogenic environment.
Cons: 
Traffic noise. Lots of litter blown from nearby roads.
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Region:
Tehachapi Mountains + Western Mojave Desert, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Located near the community of Lake Los Angeles at the eastern fringe of the Antelope Valley, Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary is an unexpected corner of rich ecologic features in what many would consider the barren high desert.

There are no roads or facilities within the sanctuary. Instead, visitors must park and walk through the soft sand into the heart of the sanctuary. The further one gets from the roads, traffic noise, and litter, the deeper one gets into the Joshua trees and creosote scrub along small sand dunes. Animal tracks are easily visible in the silty sand: Mojave sidewinder rattlesnakes, zebra-tailed lizards, and Mojave desert tortoises all make their homes here. During the spring, wildflower blooms give the sanctuary some color. 

The colorful sunrises and sunsets of the Antelope Valley make this an area of note to photographers, and there are several movie sets nearby that also take advantage of the colorful desert light.

There are no trails or any facilities here, making it less of an area to hike and more of an area to walk. It is about a half mile from the Avenue O along the sanctuary's northern end to the wash and the wind-blown dunes near the heart of the sanctuary.

Alpine Butte Wildlife Sanctuary is free and open to the public between sunrise and sunset daily.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(32 within a 30 mile radius)

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