Teaming with tiny wildflowers and tourists, the Carrizo Plain National Monument is seeing an unusual amount of traffic, all because of a mesmerizing super bloom.
In the distance, rolling hillsides are covered in swaths of gold flowers. Nearer Soda Lake, patches of amber orange flowers mix among vibrant purple blossoms. Buttercream yellow and soft blue flowers sway in the spring breeze.
Marat and Zina Latypov drove from Santa Barbara to see the super bloom for the first time.
“After all this rain, we hoped and expected that there would be lots of flowers,” Marat Latypov said. “I think it’s a unique opportunity.”
The couple estimated the drive home would take upwards of three hours.
“It’s definitely worth all the [driving],” Latypov said.
Denise Reynolds says just the journey to get out the Carrizo Plain is beautiful.
“We saw a lot of patches of flowers, even leaving the Pozo/Santa Margarita area,” Reynolds said.
She made the nearly two-hour-long trip from San Luis Obispo to see the flowers.
“My husband has wanted to do this for years, waiting for the super bloom,” she said. “We just took a weekend we were home and did it.”
For many who come out to see the super bloom, the goal is to try to capture the beauty of the flowers to last until the next big bloom.
“I’ve taken so many pictures,” Reynolds said.
Photographers of all skill levels can’t seem to stop snapping pictures of the captivating flowers.
“I take [pictures] with my iPhone and they come out beautiful,” Reynolds said. “My husband is up on the hill with his big zoom camera.”
Still, nothing beats seeing the Baby Blue Eye flowers with your own eyes. Those who have already visited the Carrizo Plains super bloom just hope all visitors are respectful so that others can enjoy the seasonal wonder.
“Let’s all be considerate of the flowers and try to preserve as much as possible,” Latypov said. “Let’s all stay on the trails.”
“It’s just something that you want to bring your grandkids and your family to see,” Reynolds said.
Before you take your spring pilgrimage out to the Carrizo Plain, keep these tips in mind:
- Fill up your gas tank – It’s a long drive out there and gas stations are far and few between.
- Pack snacks and water – Once again, it’s a long drive!
- Limited bathrooms – Perhaps limit your water consumption because you will not find bathrooms easily. The Goodwin Education Center on Soda Lake Rd. does have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms that are open 24/7.
- Drive carefully & park safely – The rural, one-lane roads are windy. When parking, pull safely off the roadway and ideally, not on top of flowers.
- Don’t climb fences or trespass – There are beautiful flowers along Highway 58 but the vast majority of the land along is highway is private property protected by wire fencing. Respect the local landowners and keep driving out to the National Monument where there are many public trails that allow great access to flowers.
Whether you take a road trip out to see the Carrizo Plain super bloom or find wildflowers elsewhere on the Central Coast, please share your photos of them using #beonksby!