Photograph Wildflowers at Carrizo Plain National Monument

Carrizo Plain National Monument, Santa Margarita, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Only about 3 hours away from Los Angeles, this makes a perfect day trip to bring friends and family. Gorgeous wildflowers are in bloom right now in California, and this is a great spot to see them!

Driving in from Hwy 58 East, you will be passing through a grapevine, and through some hills. Once you hit the Seven Mile Road, you will start to see fields of yellow flowers all around you - this is where the adventure starts. Just continue to drive along the road until you find a great spot to take photos of the wildflowers. 

Continue along Seven Mile Road, until you hit Soda Lake Road, then turn left to head South. Along this road you will find a dirt road on the right which leads up a hill called Overlook Hill. This is a great spot to get panoramic views of the whole place. It was so beautiful to see fields of green, painted with yellow patches of flowers!

You will also find several hiking trails in the area which take you through beautiful flower beds. Just be sure to follow the trail at all times and avoid stepping on the flowers!

Further south on Soda Lake Road, turn left on Simmler Road and here you'll get to explore Soda Lake, which is a dry alkaline lake. This place reminded me of chocolate crinkles, because it was pretty much mud and soil, covered with a lot of salt!

From here, you can continue on Simmler Road until it goes around to hit the same entry point you came through. To head back, make your way through the hills, through the grapevine, to head back out to Hwy 58. 

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Bug Spray
  • 4WD Vehicle (there's a lot of unpaved roads)
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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My husband and I just drove out here last weekend and I've never seen California wildflowers like this! The hills look as if someone dumped buckets of multi-colored paint over the edges!

2 months ago
2 months ago

Went here a few weeks ago to see the bloom and camp. This place feels like you're in a wonder world. Public land at its best. I'd like to see it post bloom. Endless amount of dirt roads to drive up and explore. You don't need a 4x4 to get around, but probably preferable if you plan to camp.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Sassy Resuello Explorer

Spending time outdoors and seeing the beauty of nature is my way of fueling my passion for life. Taking photos is my way of sharing the inspiration with the rest of the world.

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