In 2012 I was looking for a nice ride near Bakersfield while on my way home from buying my bucket-list motorcycle in Redlands. I decided to head west on Hwy 58, through the fossil fuel maze around McKittrick, to enjoy a ride into the hills and see some wildflowers at Carrizo Plain. It was a great springtime ride, and I loved the countryside there in central California. Rolling hills all the way over to Carrizo, which is sort of a little Death Valley. It was just a quick stop as I looked out over Soda Lake, but I knew I had to return someday.

From the BLM website…Three hundred years ago, California’s Central Valley was vast grassland where antelope and elk grazed and wildflowers swept the spring landscape. Today, amid urban and agriculture development, a remnant remains in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. In 2001, Bill Clinton designated Carrizo Plain a National Monument and here’s a link to the proclamation, which is good reading: https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/programs-nlcs-california-carrizo-plain-proclamation.pdf

Soda Lake, Carrizo Plain National Monument
Soda Lake

We finally returned in March this year, traveling in our Solis and spending a couple of nights at Selby Campground. We hiked from the camp, relaxed, played guitar, enjoyed the sun, and talked to a few very interesting people. Our two favorites were octogenarians with 20+ years of RVing experience and still enjoying it immensely, whether traveling alone or with company. One was solo-traveling for six weeks over to the Grand Canyon! I admired their independence and resourcefulness.

Selby camp is a special place to spend time and we especially enjoyed those dramatic moments each day as the sun passed over the horizon. As for the other campground, KCL, we’ll have to stay there next time. We heard it is quite different and frequented by a pair of great horned owls.

Selby Campground

Sunrise colors of Carrizo. March 2021
Carrizo Plain
Our Solis
Selby Rocks
Sunrise over Selby Camp

4 Replies to “Carrizo Plain National Monument”

    1. Thanks Chris, and thanks so much for a wonderful visit yesterday. I am wondering if flowers might be better earlier this year, so a good idea to go to Carrizo early. Just realize that with a lot of washboard roads, you must go slow, and even then, things will come loose in your coach. Hinges, latches, refrigerators (?). Still, I would return there. When we went there, we spent the first night at Stanger Winery near Paso Robles. Then across to Carrizo early the next day. Afterwards, we headed home the fast way via McKittrick and I-5.

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