Prime Desert Woodland Preserve

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43201 35th St. West (Avenue K-8 & 35th St. West)

PDW-SunsetFirst proposed in 1985, the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve is the result of the efforts of many local residents and the Lancaster City Council. This scenic location nestled within an urban area has been established to provide visitors an opportunity to learn about the animals, plants and the region in which we live, as well as a place to simply relax and enjoy nature. 

New this year is the interpretive center project, designed by the Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH), the first stage of a multi-phase improvement initiative which will include the development of an additional twenty acres of walking trails, as well as infrastructure and signage to the preserve.

The new exhibition explores each of the major areas the center has traditionally included such as fauna, flora, geology, native peoples, and historical figures -- while increasing audience engagement through a more interactive experience.

New to the interpretive center is a petroglyph and pictograph wall where visitors are invited to make their own pictographs in chalk. In addition, the preserve now offers an excavation station which includes replica bones, artifacts, and genuine geodes; an expanded library and reading area for children and adults; a reimagined touch table where guests can have a hands-on experience with real animal hides, horns, and antlers; and regular workshops inspired by the landscape.


The Preserve has an area of about 120 acres with over three miles of trails.

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Trails of the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve
The trails are normally open from 6:00 a.m. to sunset seven days a week. The exceptions would be times of heavy rain or snow. 

The Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center
Also located in the Preserve is the Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center

Interpretive Center Hours: 
Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center phone number is (661) 723-6230. When the Center is closed, please call the Park Ranger Station at (661) 723-5928. 

Exterior View of Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center

If you are looking for a guided nature walk for your group, please email

In your email, please have the following information: The number of persons participating & whether they are adults or children. If the participants are primarily children, their approximate age or grade in school should be given in addition to the number of adults accompanying them.

The Antelope Valley Chapter of the Audubon Society  meets on the second Tuesday of every month (except in the Summer) at the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve in the Elyze Clifford Interpretive Center. Meetings begin at 7 pm.

Conditions of Use:
• Please stay on the trails.
• No dogs are allowed on the trails (not even on a leash).
• No smoking on the Preserve grounds.
• No alcoholic beverages allowed.
• No wheeled vehicles except wheelchairs or baby strollers. This means no bicycles, motor bikes, skates, skate boards or scooters.

For more information, please read all signs upon arrival.


MOON WALK | Saturdays | $2 donation welcome, ages 3 and under free

Experience a magical night of nature and astronomy combined. Jeremy Amarant, Director of Palmdale School District’s SAGE Planetarium, will take you on a journey through the mysterious night sky, while teaching about the stars and constellations. Enjoy a one-mile guided tour of the Preserve. Weather permitting, AV Astronomy Club members will offer a look at the night sky through their telescopes. 

2019 Moon Walk Schedule:
April 6th @ 8 p.m

May 18th @ 8:30 p.m

June 8th @ 8:30 p.m

July 27th @ 8:30 p.m

YOGA FOR "EVERY BODY" | Every Wednesday, 5:30 p.m to 6:30p.m | $5 donation to instructor welcome.
Re-energize your mind, body, and soul with our slow-flowing gentle yoga practice and meditation set in the serene and secluded pavilion at the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve. This donation-based class is perfect for beginners or those who enjoy a slower more mindful-based practice. For more information, please call 723-6077. *Except on holidays.

KOKEDAMA WORKSHOP | May 4th, Noon-2 p.m. | Free

You’ve heard of the art of bonsai gardening, but have you heard of the art of kokedama? The art of Kokedama literally translates from “koke” meaning moss and “dama” meaning ball. This moss ball has experienced a resurgence as a modern art form useful for uniquely presented plants and flowers. A Japanese moss ball makes a personalized gift or simply an interesting accent for a favorite plant specimen.


BIRD WALK |  May 11th & July 13th, 9 a.m. |  Free 

Don Goeschl, President of the Audubon Society, and the Rangers will lead you into the trails for an educational bird watching experience. The day will begin in the Interpretive Center with an informative description of the birds native to the Antelope Valley and their habitats, then continuing on to the trails of the preserve. Bring Binoculars. 

FREE GUIDED TOUR | May 18, 9 a.m. | Free

Park Rangers will provide personal tours of the Prime Desert Woodland Preserve’s beautiful trail system. Following the tours, check out the exhibits in the Interpretive Center. 


Join MOAH and the Prime Desert Woodland in welcoming poet and artist Charles Hood  for the launch of his book, Wild L.A-Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it's full of amazing wildlife. You just need to know where to find it!  Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA has something for everyone. It looks at the factors that shape local nature—including fire, floods, and climate—and profiles over 100 local species, from easy-to-spot squirrels and praying mantids to more elusive green sea turtles, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Also included are descriptions of day trips that help you explore natural wonders on hiking trails, in public parks, and in your own backyard.


Create a tile inspired by the desert floor-Make a tile for you or your mom. Using the desert floor as our inspiration, we will create beautiful abstract tiles. These are perfect as Mother’s Day gifts!

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | June 9th, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Free

Painting the desert in watercolor washes-We will experiment with wet-on-wet watercolor techniques to depict the dry desert. 

VOLCANO PRESENTATION | June 22nd, 1 p.m | $3 Fee, ages 3 and under free

This hour with Richard Wade will offer volcanic explosions, historic information, and a deeper look into the mystery of volcanoes. Don't miss this educational opportunity.

CANCELLED Moons and Craters | July 13th, 7:30 p.m

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | July 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Free

Finding words and images inspired by the Preserve-What comes first, the idea or the image? In this art activation, participants will first write a haiku about the desert on lovely watercolor paper, and then illustrate it with markers! 

WORLD WIDE RANGER DAY | July 27th, 1 p.m. | Free

Celebrate Worldwide Ranger Day at the Interpretive Center with games, food, and a chance to earn a Junior Park Ranger Badge! Learn about animals native to the Antelope Valley. See coyote, rabbit, and snake skins, as well as feathers from the red tail hawk, common crow, and birds of prey found at the preserve.

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | August 11th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Free

Make a rain stick-It’s been a very, very long time since we’ve had rain. Doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the sound of it. Come out to the Prime Desert Woodland and make your own rain stick! 

RANGER OUTREACH PROGRAM | August-May (School Calendar) | Free

Park Rangers visit local schools and share facts on local wildlife and plant life. Students can see and touch deer antlers; turtle shells; rabbit, snake and coyote skins; and more. Age-appropriate programs are available for grades K-12. For more information, call 661-723-6257.

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | September 8th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Free

Paint a desert scene with crayons. Watercolor crayons!-Draw a picture of the desert with crayons, and then use a paintbrush and water to turn it into a watercolor masterpiece!

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | October 13th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Free

Making masks inspired by desert animals-Create your own mask this Halloween inspired by your favorite desert animal. Will you be a jackrabbit, raven, or bobcat?

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | November 10th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Free

Drawing desert bugs-Sometimes it seems as if there is nothing alive in the desert. But that’s just not so. We will look for bugs, then examine them with magnifying glasses, and then draw them. 

ART ACTIVATION WITH DANI DODGE | December 8th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Free

Perfecting Polaroids-Come to the Prime Desert Woodlands and have your picture taken with the desert as your backdrop. And then, use our paint and unusual framing supplies to make that image into a personal piece of art! 

Fees to attend presentations will be collected at the door of the Interpretive Center on the day of each presentation. All presentations & walks last approximately one hour. Presentations are free for children three years & under. Meet at the Interpretive Center at posted times for all group walks. Call (661) 723-6230 for more information.

• Attendance is limited for events in the Interpretive Center.
• Meet at the Interpretive Center at posted times.

For questions or comments please email us at  


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