Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-04-2017, 03:17 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 76
Carrizo Plain Wildflowers Trip

Last Wednesday I drove up to the Carrizo Plain National Monument with my KTM strapped to the back of my SMB. I had heard a couple of weeks earlier that the wildflowers had started to bloom and had planned to go up a week earlier, but it rained. That turns the clay roads into sticky soft mud. A friend was driving up on his road bike and we planned to meet at the KCL Campground about 10 am. I got there earlier so I could get my bike off the back and change into riding gear. I really lucked out because the campground was already full, but a couple was packing up their truck and left so I grabbed their spot.




We started by heading up Caliente Mountain Road, thinking we'd get some elevation and be able to see better where the flowers were. This turned out to be a good plan as we could see patches of different colors below us on the Plain, and there were also huge patches along the road in the mountains.









Back down on the Plain, we headed for the south end of Soda Lake where we could see a patch of flowers that were much more orange than the mostly yellow.




We were on our way to Elkhorn Road that runs in the foothills of the Temblor Mountains on the east side of the Plain.


On the west flank of the Temblor Mountains were patches of orange and purple as well as lots of yellow.





After my friend headed back to town, I rode around a bit to explore and look for more kinds of flowers.



There is a huge patch of purple flowers in the middle of the plain, but the road only gets to within about a mile of it. I didn't want to leave my motorbike unattended for the time it would take to hike over to the purple, so I only got a view from the distance.


The next day I headed out by myself, first along the south side of Soda Lake so I could get to Elkhorn Road, then climb up the Temblor Mountains to get the view from high on the east side.




Soda Lake is really just a mud pit at this end.


More flowers...


Once on top of the Temblor Mtns, I had views both west (back into the Plain) and east. The next picture looks west.


This one looks east. I wanted to find a way down to the road below, but didn't have enough time to find it.


Apparently I've used up my allotment of images, so I'll continue in the next post...
__________________

SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 03:22 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
rallypanam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Francisco/Nevada City
Posts: 3,543
Garage
Awesome!!!
__________________

rallypanam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 03:28 PM   #3
Site Team
 
daveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,588
Garage
Thanks for the report. Fantastic pics. I was going to head that way last week but never made it. It's a beautiful area for sure.
__________________
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 03:32 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 76
The road at the top of the Temblor range.


And more flowers.





Back on the Plain, I found these jewels in what looked like a dry wash.


Another patch of color in the Plain.


There were quite a few signs warning that the roads were impassible when they're wet. Some people ignored those warnings.


I went back up Caliente Mountain Road. I could do more exploring on my dual-sport KTM without my friend with his street bike.







There was another SMB staying at the KCL Campground and I got a chance to talk to the owners for a few minutes. They were from the east coast and had left home a month earlier. They were meeting their kids there who lived somewhere in California (I don't remember where). I also saw two other SMBs while driving around. A friend went up a few days later for the day and told me she saw 4 SMBs while driving around, 3 of them were 4x4s.

I've posted the best pictures I took here, but there are lots more on my website at Flowers in the Carrizo Plain National Monument and surrounding mountains at the end of March, 2017

The flowers should be there for another couple of weeks, hopefully, so it's not too late to see them in person!
SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 04:25 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Fitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 697
We were there last Friday and Saturday and spectacular is the word that comes to mind. We stayed at Selby campground and saw two other SMB's while there. The San Andreas fault runs all along the east side of the valley, there is one expression of it that is easily accessed. When we left we went out Hurricane road to the east, some great views from up there also. This will become an annual event for us!

Great trip report!
__________________
“Flint” - 2016 SMB Sprinter 4x4 144" RB 150S w/ PH
Fitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 04:41 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 76
Quote:
The San Andreas fault runs all along the east side of the valley, there is one expression of it that is easily accessed.
I stopped there, if you mean Wallace Creek, but again the hike in was too far for me to leave my motorbike unattended
It's going to be an annual event for me now, too.
SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 07:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Imperial Beach,CA
Posts: 244
Phenomenal fotos, great job catching those purples and oranges. Just finished reading about this area, in brief although, in the older guide: Beyond the National Parks, A Recreation Guide to Public Lands in the West.
EmMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2017, 05:45 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: MO
Posts: 323
Garage
Awesome. Great trip report.
__________________
2008 GMC 3500 Quigley 4x4 Savana SMB
2006 BMW HP2 Enduro
marret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 10:37 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Park City Utah
Posts: 65
Garage
Wow! Is this an exceptional year because of all the moisture or is this pretty typical? Definitely on my list of things to see.

Thanks!
dick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 07:08 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 76
Quote:
Is this an exceptional year because of all the moisture or is this pretty typical?
This was my first time visiting, but my understanding is that this is 'normal.' However, we've had very little rain for the past several years so the recent blooms have been much smaller. If anyone had better information, please chime in!
__________________

SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:32 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.