Wildflower photographers should know about the Carrizo Plain National Monument, located in southwestern California, one hundred miles northwest of Los Angeles and halfway between Bakersfield and the coast. It’s one of those places that few people visit and even avid nature photographers may not know about. Designated as a national monument in 2001, this remote basin has the largest display of spring wildflowers in California. The wildflower season usually starts in late March, peaks in mid-April and ends in mid-May. El Niño weather patterns and heavy winter rains in the area usually mean great displays of countless wildflowers stretching for many miles.
Surrounded by mountain ranges, this remote basin is fifteen-miles wide and stretches fifty-miles long from northwest to southeast, covering 250,000 acres. To the west are the Caliente Mountains. To the east is the Temblor Range. Between the Temblor Range and the Carrizo Plain runs the infamous San Andreas Fault, visible as it runs in a straight line at the base of the Elkhart Escarpment. Get all the details on the Carrizo Plain wildflowers in my Photograph America issue #142 - Carrizo Plain Wildflowers, California.