Carrizo Plain National Monument is located in San Luis Obispo County and features over 200,000 acres of public land for visitors to enjoy exploring year round. The national monument is very remote and provides you that peace and quiet you just can’t seem to get in its surrounding cities. It is a place to become one with nature and it’s considered one of Southern California’s best kept secrets. Well…till now of course.
The 204,107 acres of public land are currently being completely taken over by the California superbloom. Satellites have even been able to track these colorful wildflowers from space! Visitors are coming from every direction, to catch a glimpse of the wildflowers before they disappear. Including us of course!
Carrizo Plains has become a social media sensation with the National Monument even promoting contests and suggesting wildflower goers use the hashtag #TracktheBloom on their social media accounts. It was so exciting to see so many visitors and so many monument rangers feeling the bloom!!! I mean look Lemon is even happy.
Carrizo Plain National Monument Details
The National Monument isn’t the easiest to get to, first reason being the monument is pretty remote, like I mentioned above, and two you’ll travel on unpaved roads at times.
I drove for about 3 hours to get here and… no joke, even got the truck stuck in mud when I took it off road. Be careful on the dirt roads after rain. I had to be pulled out by an ever go nice gentleman camping at the National Monument.
I also was highly allergic to these gorgeous small yellow flowers which made for a challenging day of trying as hard as I could to not touch them, inhale them, or be near them…which was rather inevitable. So I went home without being able to breath, having sneezing attacks, one eye swollen shut, and a truck COVERED in mud. What an eventful day! (Oh and I should mention that Lemon also threw up, in the car, on the way here!)
Best Areas To #TracktheBloom
Now I must admit since I really felt like $h!+ anytime I stepped out of the truck and I wasted some precious time being stuck in mud… I didn’t get to do as much exploring as I wanted to. Wah! But I did catch some awesome wildflowers in a couple places so I’ll share those areas with you.
This is where the majority of people are hanging out to play in and take pictures with the wildflowers. Use caution when driving as people are so taken back with the flowers that they seem to forget their surroundings! This road is also dirt so drive slow. You’ll also get views of Soda Lake. Make sure to park in a designated area and get out and explore the landscape.
Wallace Creek Trail
There are hiking trails where you can get up close and personal with the valleys and flowers. Along these trails is must likely where the epic social media images are coming from. Since I was highly allergic I didn’t venture too far, but other people were continuing onward and upward into the rolling hills! The trail head can be located off Elkhorn Road. Here are some great directions for locating the trail head.
Guy L. Goodwin Education Center
Make sure to stop at the educational center to get more information on the National Monument and ask where the best wildflower sighting have been. You can also enjoy a picnic here and walk around checking out all the flowers surrounding the center.
Carrizo Plain National Monument Tips
- Lot of people are out #trackingtheboom so use cautious when driving around.
- Remember this is pretty far out so bring water and food for the day.
- Get directions. My phone didn’t work. Don’t want to rely on it for directions.
- Don’t go when it is or after it has rained. (Dirt roads are not accessible.)
- Bring your camera, there’s opportunity for great photos.
- You can camp here as well.
- You can go on a guided or unguided tour.
Carrizo Plain National Monument Resources
- LA Times write up of the superbloom.
- California Through My Lens visits the National Monument.
- Carrizo Plain National Monument Website.
- Hiking Info from Nobody Hikes LA.
- Satellite images of the superbloom!
Now hurry and #TracktheBloom before it’s too late. Adventure awaits!