Photographing the Carrizo Plain



The wild flower season in Southern CA started off so promising with good rain in December and January.  However, a persistent “high” over the Pacific Southwest has kept most of the El Nino rain since then in Northern CA and the Sierra Nevada.  There is some color on the Grapevine near Gorman, but it is not a big bloom.  We also just heard that the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is a total bust this year.  So, Mary and I made the long 3 hour drive up to the Carrizo Plain to find some flowers.  Here is what you might see.


The Carrizo Plain National Monument is 150 miles north of Los Angeles and 50 miles west of Bakersfield.  Ironically, one of the largest oil fields in CA is just over the hill from one of the largest grasslands in CA.  The plain is about 35 miles long and is anchored at the north end by Soda Lake.  This dry lake bed can be filled with water in a good rainy season, but was dry on our trip.


The best flower fields this year are near the visitor’s center.  The road is paved at each end of the valley for about 5 miles, while the middle is a smooth dirt road that is easily passable in a passenger car.  There are a couple of cross roads and one that goes over the Tremblor Range toward Taft, CA.  I do not recommend these roads without a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle.


We also had fun photographing the old farm equipment at the Traver Ranch.



We stayed in Taft at a brand new Best Western Plus.  We highly recommend it.

Oil Field near Taft. The Carrizo Plain is just over those hills.
Oil Field near Taft. The Carrizo Plain is just over those hills.

Here is last week’s blog about making photos at the Carrizo Plain.

To see more of (and buy) our photographs, please go to




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