Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2016

Carrizo Plain/Gorman /Arvin Wildflowers 3/15/16

Submitted by Daniel
reposted from the Submitting Your Wanderings section
Thanks for your very detailed report

 Daniel Reports: On Tuesday March 15th I entered the Carrizo Plain from the south entrance. Traveling north on Soda Lake Rd there are about 5 to 6 small carpet fields of flowers close to this mostly level dirt road starting with one right by the Carrizo Plain NM sign. Then a few miles south of Soda Lake it culminates into 1 or 2 very large fields of flowers. The flowers are mostly goldfields, purple phaecelia, and there are sections of orange fiddleneck. The road finally turns into pavement and as I look across the lake you can see two small hills completely covered in yellow flowers on the eastern side by Elkhorn Rd; however, due to time I was not able to inspect them. After turning right on Highway 58 and passing the solar panel facility you see many scenic hills that are 1/4 to 1/2 covered in yellow flowers as you are exiting the Carrizo Plain area. Similar to what other people were doing, I stopped at 1 or 2 places by the highway where the flowers were thickly concentrated at the bottom of the hills.

I should mention that around the halfway point traveling north to Soda Lake from the top of a hill you can see one large field of yellow flowers next to another large field of purple on the eastern side of the plain. I quickly look at my phone GPS which barely had a signal and it shows a road that might go there. There is a fork in the road immediately as I turn right. Instead of going left further up the hill, I take the dirt road that goes right around and down into the plain. I could not find a name for this road but it takes you right up to the large area of yellow goldfields. I go further down the road through a small gate where there is a circular dome building and wooden tower. A few hundred feet after this gate, I stop and walk 5 to 10 minutes out to this large purple field of flowers. After this I had to turn around because in about another 1/2 mile the road drops about 4 feet straight down into some dry creek bed. The map shows other roads that connect with Simmler Soda Lake Rd but the dirt road I was traveling on has an impassable section. Looking back on the map I think it might be the road that has a big left horseshoe curve at the end. There were also a couple spots of higher grass in the middle of the dirt road that my passenger car was able to slowly go through.

Daniel Reports: On Tuesday March 15th, on the way to the Carrizo Plain I stopped at two spots around the Gorman hills to view wildflowers. The first location is the same place on Gorman Post Rd others have reported around the halfway point from Gorman to Hwy 138. The GPS map show some sort of small pond next to it on the right side of the field which appears to be hidden by trees. You will see a few hills with color on them and there is a section where there is no fence line. The area by the trees has the closest access to the flowers from the road. There is another nice small field of flowers a few hundred feet north and I put on my leg guards before walking out into the tall grass to the bottom of the hill. The view may not be as grand as you may expect, but it would be worth checking out these two small fields right by Hwy 5 if you just happen to be passing by.

The second spot of wildflowers I stopped at involves pulling over on the side of the highway, which you will have to do at your own discretion. On Highway 5 going northbound you will see nice patches of orange flowers on the hillsides. As your going downhill I’m estimating about 1 mile after the Fort Tejon exit immediately after one of the large overhead signs you will see a large dirt pull off. There is a low curb before getting onto the dirt which should be ok as long as you slowdown beforehand. If you walk 10-20 feet up to the fence line you will be next to a nice concentrated section of poppies and lupines going up the hill. Before getting back on the highway, I backed up on the dirt pull off so I can get a running start before merging back onto the highway lane with a long safe open gap in between the semi-trucks.

Daniel Reports: On Friday, March 11th, I stopped by Arvin on the way to Southern California. There are fields of orange fiddleneck (small withered looking dark orange colored flowers). Although there were spots of other types of flowers, I did not see any large patches where I needed to stop for photos. It was overcast with periods of rain, so I drove extra slow to look around more carefully on the way back. I drove the 223 from Hwy 99 all the way past Hwy 58 to Caliente. If there is a good section of other types of wildflowers besides orange fiddlenecks I did not see them, or it might not be easy to spot from the road.


  1. The display of poppies along northbound I-5 descending Grapevine Canyon past Ft Tejon is quite spectacular however I do not suggest you pull off the road to explore as he did. This is a very heavily travelled strech of highway with considerable truck traffic.


    Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 3:30 PM


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