CARRIZO PLAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT
“Spring is Nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” Robin Williams
“The day the Lord created Hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” Bernard Williams
The first time I visited Carrizo Plain National Monument was in April 2016. At that time, I was impressed by its vastness and stark views, and I enjoyed the occasional blossoms alongside the road. The history and geology of the area are fascinating as well. The park ranger advised I come back in March next time if I wanted to see more flowers.
She sure was right.
I visited the Carrizo Plain a couple times in March 2017, once with a friend. (Our photos are intermixed a bit in this presentation.) The flowers were absolutely tremendous. I drove in from the north, taking Highway 58 to Highway 33 into McKittrick. Soda Lake Road runs through the park, eventually connecting to Highway 166 and the drive home. Near and far, color was everywhere. This year’s wildflower display is surely a Super Bloom!
The main road through the Carrizo Plain wanders back and forth between paved and unpaved, but—no matter what—flowers are strewn along the way adding color and variety. Wind was a constant companion as well. The breezes really kept the flowers and grasses dancing across the hills.
The hills, of course, are alive with color. I especially like the occasional patches of pink and orange that popped out amidst the more typical yellow, green, and varying shades of blue and purple.
Soda Lake is at the heart of the Carrizo Plain, There is a hill that offers an overlook of the lake as well as a boardwalk that lets visitors stroll lakeside.
I have not identified all the flowers in bloom on my visits, but some of the main ones include Brittlebush, Blue Phacelia, Creosote Bush, Fiddleneck, Milk Vetch, Baby Blue Eyes, and then some sort of Daisy, something pink, and perhaps California Bluebell. Lupine and California Poppies finally started to blossom along Highway 166.
Baby Blue Eyes
Some Sort of Daisy? Maybe a Version of Desert Dandelion?
I Love the Grasses
These Lupine and California Poppies were captured on the steep curves of Highway 166.
If you have not yet visited Carrizo Plain National Monument, get there fast. You might catch the end of this year’s Super Bloom. Definitely add visiting here to your plan for next spring.
NOTE: I am never 100% confident in my flower identifications. If you can make corrections, please share your expertise in the comments. Thanks. Whether I can name them or not, these wildflowers are incredible!