Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Carrizo Plain National Monument

Quail Spring Canyon track link

Elkhorn Scarp track link

Temblor Range south track link

Temblor Range north track link

Four days in the Carrizo Plain National Monument area may not have been enough, but it's what we had. Instead of traveling the tourist path we made the most of our visit and hiked numerous spots around the monument, well off the beaten path.

On our first morning we drove the tourist route from north to south along Soda Lake. It was Saturday and the traffic was bad enough but the large fields of flowers in the plain made up for it.

By Sunday morning we were off on our own hiking a route Susan made up by looking at the topo map - from our camp, cross-country down Quail Spring Canyon to the bottom, then back to the top on a jeep road. It was magnificent.

The next day we ducked into the tiny Elkhorn Scarp at the southern end for a short hike on some jeep roads, then moved over to the Temblor Range for a more strenuous hike. The flowers continued to impress.

Some of the Desert Candles were huge!

On our last day the best was to come. We started up a jeep road that quickly vanished, then cross-country on the ridges to the top. Connecting with the jeep road at the top we pushed north and found the most magnificent flowers yet at the crest of the dirt Hurricane Road. Wow. After dropping down to the valley floor and getting the car we drove back up and over toward home. We didn't make if far before stopping numerous times for more photos. It was among the best wildflower displays either of us have ever seen. Amazing.

If you are reading this shortly after posting, the time is NOW for a visit to Carrizo Plain NM.

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