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Carrizo Plain National Monument
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San Luis Obispo County Main Page

Carrizo Plain National Monument

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2003 - 2017


While not well known or highly visited, Carrizo Plain National Monument, in the southeast corner of San Luis Obispo County and a speck of western Kern County, is preservng 250 thousand acreas of California's pre-European and post-European history. What was once a vast plain filled with wildlife, between the montains seperating the Great Central Valley of California from the Pacific Ocean, became ranch land. Now it is being returned to nature. The ranches are closed, but the constructions remain to preserve this part of Carrizo Plain history. There isn't much in the park except wide opene spaces. The small Visitor Center is a wealth of information, but fill your tank before leavng I-5 or the coast, because there isn't a gas station for 50 or more miles. There are no luxury hotels and fancy restaurants, just a chance to experience the wonder of what California was like 200 years ago.


Soda Lake.


Power lines cut through the park.

Wallace Creek is one of the best places to observe displaced geography along the San Andreas Fault.



Soda Lake.

Toward the north end.
Views from a high point toward the north.
Views of Soda Lake from a high point toward the north.
Views across the plain.
Views of Soda Lake.
Views of Soda Lake.
Views of Soda Lake.

Soda Lake and wild flowers.

Wild flowers.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.

Wild flowers.

Ranch.

Wild flowers in spring of 2010.

Sunset over Carrizo Plain.

Sunset over Carrizo Plain.
Ranch equipment. The Plains has several retired and active ranches.
Carrizo Plain is not a developed park. The only development is the Goodwin Center. This is a visitor and information center with a small museum. Even the Goodwin Center doesn't have running water or flush toilets. There are no restaurants or gas stations in the park.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.

Cattle Guard.

Washburn Administed Area.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.
Wild flowers in spring of 2010.


Looking out across the plains.
KCL Campground. There is no running water or restrooms.
KCL Campground. There is no running water or restrooms.

KCL Campground.
Cattle loading shoot.
Wild flowers in 2005.
Cattle guard.

Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.

Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.

Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.

Wild flowers in 2010.


The Traver Ranch consists of the house, several out builings, and a display of farming equipment along an interpretive trail.



Burried cable sign.

Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.

Soda Lake Road.

Wild flowers.
Gully beside Soda road.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.

Old water tank along Soda Road.

Old water tank.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.

Looking across the plain.

Cattle loading shoot.
The plain in May 2005.
Soda Lake Road is the main road through the park.

Soda Lake Road.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Wild flowers in 2010.
The plain in May 2005.
Wild flowers in 2010.
Carrizo Plain National Monument sign, south end of Soda Lake Road.
One of the ranches still in private ownership.


Kern County - San Louis Obispo County line. Most of the Monumnet is in San Luis Obispo.

The below eight images are in Kern County.
The plain and Sag Pond in May 2005.
Sag Pond, such depressions are common along the San Andreas Fault which lies at the base of the hill behind.
The plain and Sag Pond in April 2010.

Windmill and flowers.

Wild flowers in 2010.

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This page last updated: Sunday, 21-Jul-2013 20:43:36 EDT

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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