SUPER BLOOM: Carrizo Plain National Monument

April 7th, 2019 ~ Carrizo Plains, California

Carrizo Plains along Hwy 58

There are not many camping options for a big rig in or near Carrizo Plains. The two sites within the park are limited, both in number of spots and size. They also do not have any hook-ups. So, to facilitate both of our rigs, Tim found us sites with a view of Lake Webb in the Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area, just west of Bakersfield.

Buena Vista Aquatic Recreation Area – Lake Webb

We were in search of a SUPER BLOOM.

Two years ago, Tim and I visited Carrizo Plains just at the tail end of a magnificent showing. The lower plains area was past its prime, but up on the ridge line was just reaching its peak coloring.

Entrance to Carrizo Plain National Monument

We were excited to share it with our dear friends, Dick and Karen, who had never been here before.

Located approximately 100 miles north of Los Angeles, the Carrizo Plain is roughly 50 miles long by 15 miles wide. It is a large area to cover in a day when you are tempted to pull over every couple of minutes to snap more pictures like crazy.

Along Soda Lake Road

We followed a pathway others had made into the flowers to snap this shot

Karen and Dick

We were fortunate to hit the plains area just right. Huge fields full of yellow Goldfields and Fiddlenecks were interrupted with splashes of purple Phacelia. The bright orange poppies made themselves known as well.

Purple Phacelia

Interesting rock formations can be seen entering the foothills. This area runs parallel to the San Andreas Fault.

Selby Rocks

Up higher, on Caliente Ridge, the flowers were plentiful, but not quite at their peak.

Up on Caliente Ridge

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Make sure to bring along a picnic lunch!

What a setting for a picnic…

Painted Rock is closed to the public this time of the year to protect nesting birds. You can arrange a ranger led tour on Saturdays, but they do fill up quickly.

There is a boardwalk along Soda Lake as well as a lookout hill that you can hike to the top of, but since we had done that on a previous trip, skipped it this time around.

Seven Mile Road and Skimmer (?) Road boarder either end of Soda Lake and offer more interesting flower bingeing as well as views of the alkaline lakebed and dried white powder edges.

Soda Lake, Alkaline white sand

Soda Lake with mountain reflections

Continuing on toward Highway 58, we saw some of the best flower displays, completely blanketing the hills.

Along Hwy 58 – incredible!

We remembered this windmill from two years ago and had to get another shot of it

Both sides of the road were covered in yellow

Bright yellow broken up with a splash of rose-colored flowers

Karen and Joanne by the fence line – in total awe!

I’m still smiling with happy memories of a fabulous day.

Carrizo Plain was considered for nomination to World Heritage Site status. This would allow it to join only two other places in California that have this designation: Redwood National Park and Yosemite National Park. This idea was greatly opposed by The Independent Petroleum Association.

“The Wilderness Society eventually decided not to nominate the Carrizo Plain National Monument as a World Heritage Site, as nominations are successful only if they have almost unanimous support.” ~ Wikipedia

IMPORTANT TIPS: 

  • There are no flushing bathrooms to be found inside the park, but portable and pit style can be found by Traver Ranch, Overlook Hill and at the Visitors Center.
  • There are no food/eating facilities, so bring your own snacks, water or picnic.
  • Entrance is free.
  • We entered the south end on Soda Lake Road, which is a long, washboard dirt road. This road runs parallel to the San Andreas Fault, and several interesting rock formations can be spotted along the way.
  • There are easier ways to approach the park, and I recommend the north end via highway 58, which is the route we chose to exit on.
  • The two in park campgrounds are KCL and Selby

And just in case you have not had enough pictures from Carrizo Plains, you can click here to see pictures from our visit in 2017.

Back at our campsite for another wonderful meal, great conversations, cards and admiring our lakeside view, Tim managed to capture this youngster playing along the shoreline.

Oh, to be that young and carefree once again.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we managed to hit the Super Bloom in Carrizo Plain at its peak performance. With the rains returning this year, we were blessed to have wild flowers throughout several areas in California. Mother Nature at her finest!

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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52 Responses to SUPER BLOOM: Carrizo Plain National Monument

  1. Wow, just wow! How wonderful for you that you got to go there. It’s quite extraordinary as your photos show.
    Alison

    Like

  2. Trish Hatcher says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing

    Like

  3. I was there last week. It is beautiful and you did a great job writing about it! I love your Gratitude Moments!

    Like

  4. Laci says:

    Great pictures! i bet they don’t do it justice.

    Like

  5. Jill says:

    What a wonderful place to visit. Gorgeous flower photos!

    Like

  6. Ace&Demi says:

    Oh, the photos are beautiful!

    Like

  7. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been hearing about super blooms but had no idea what it meant.

    Like

  8. What gorgeous photos! I’m going to have to put this place on my list of future destinations. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  9. We were lucky enough to be on the front edge of the super bloom two years ago. Would love to have seen it at its peak. Magnificent–thanks for sharing!

    Like

  10. dweezer19 says:

    Simply breathtaking views!

    Like

  11. It is on my bucket list to see one of these sometme! ​

    Like

  12. Mila says:

    Absolutely magnificent !!! Do they smell?? If yes, it could be something unimaginable in the air !

    Like

  13. Maxxtrails says:

    Wow! Absolutely stunning, thank you so much for sharing.

    Like

  14. Widdershins says:

    Speechless-efying! 😀

    Like

  15. Arati says:

    AWEsome. Thank you for sharing these spectacular views!

    Like

  16. Rupa Rao says:

    Enjoy the blessings of shared interest, a loving companion, means to travel, and beautiful destinations and roads to journey together!!!! God bless!!

    Like

  17. David says:

    Wow!
    This Virginian is very jealous.

    Like

  18. Wow the super bloom looks amazing! Great pictures.

    Like

  19. You are so lucky to have seen this bloom. Absolutely stunning!

    Like

  20. Pingback: Kernville, California ~ Gateway to Trail of 100 Giants | A Note From Abroad

  21. Amy Pantone says:

    This is beautiful. I read about the crowds of people gathering to see this amazing site. I can only imagine how awesome it was in person. The pictures are lovely. I love the ones of you guys in the middle of the flowers. Postcard perfect.

    Like

  22. fenlandphil says:

    Fantastic pictures of spectacular scenery.

    Like

  23. CourtneySolano@WritingKarma.com says:

    Breathtaking photos, thanks for the visitor’s tips as well!

    Like

  24. belindajensenwood says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I would love to see all the wildflowers!

    Like

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