Wildflowers in Carrizo Plain National Monument

Weekend, March 16 and 17, 2019

The winter rains have brought wildflowers to the Carrizo Plain National Monument, and we headed South to check them out. So glad we did.

We left Friday night, got caught on terrible traffic and arrived late into Selby Campground. It was not long before we where sleeping.

We woke up late and just enjoyed the morning. Most of the campground had cleared out, so we felt in no rush. The points of interest include, Painted Rocks, Soda Lake, Traver Ranch, Wallace Creek Interpretative Trail and Caliente Ridge Trail. We made a plan for the day and headed off. A special permit is required for the Painted Rocks, and is something we must do one day when it is a little less crowded.

Traver Ranch was at the southern end of the park. Along the way we were treated to many many wildflowers. In fact the further South we headed the better the flowers were. At the ranch there was a modest display of old farming equipment.

The best decision was to head off the “main” road and take a lesser backroad. We were very nicely rewarded with amazing flowers and a valley practically to ourselves. The road was a little rougher so progress was slower, but a pace we enjoyed. We had a late lunch surrounded by flowers.

In the late afternoon we visited the San Andreas fault at Wallace Creek, which was more impressive than the photo shows. And then a stop at Soda Lake to finish the day. We spent Saturday night at Williams Hill campground, as we wanted to make some distance back to San Francisco. Along the way we saw some buffalo (farmed).

Caroline decorated Molly with birds.
First glimpses of approaching wildflowers.
Caroline is quickly out of the truck with a camera.
Traver Ranch and the old farming equipment.
Time for some backcountry roads.
Basically no one else on this road. An entire valley to ourselves.
Lunch all to ourselves
Soda Lake
The sunset as we headed North
The sunrise the next morning at Williams Hill. yes, we were up with the sun!