Last weekend we joined our Central Valley Hiking Meet-up Group for a trip over to the Carizzo Plain National Monument in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. I hate to even tell you because there's a good chance the flowers are starting to die back but if you have the ability to jump in your car and go today you will not be disappointed!
The Carrizo Plain is a large enclosed grassland plain, approximately 50 miles long and up to 15 miles across. It contains the 246,812-acre Carrizo Plain National Monument, and it is the largest single native grassland remaining in California. It includes Painted Rock which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2012 it was further designated a National Historic Landmark due to its archeological value. The San Andreas Fault cuts along the length of the plain.
|There she be. Big, bad San Andreas fault. Right lower corner, goes diagonally up and slightly to the left. Waaaay off in the distance at upper left corner is Soda Lake which is full of water right now but normally full of alkali.|
State Route 166 passes the south entrance to the Carrizo Plain, and State Route 58 crosses through the northern portion. Connecting them is the narrow Soda Lake Road, the only road that goes through the plain. It can become impassable during or soon after a rain since the middle portion of it is gravel.
|It almost hurts your eyes. The color is so intense.|
|The hills are alive. With the sound of COLOR.|
I'm telling you. If you can drop everything. DO. And go.