Back at it! This time seeking flowers! K and I returned to Carrizo Plain in late March 2016, after hearing that the blooms were in session. We got to explore more spots around the plain, including the bed of Soda Lake:
It was so squishy and fun to walk around. Like memory foam!
Wikipedia calls Soda Lake a “shallow, ephemeral, alkali endorheic lake.” Endorheic means that it does not drain into any other bodies of water. When there is water (if there is water), it only evaporates or seeps into the ground.
After that, we did some hardcore chilling by this field of yellows. The yellows were overwhelming, and this photo does not do them justice.
Next up was climbing the western hills to look out over the plain:We were not done with our search for wildflowers, so we took a side trip to Shell Creek Road in Santa Margarita, where there was rumored to be prime viewing. Instead, we found a very entertaining troupe of cows, that slowly, silently, and surreptitiously came closer and closer to the car…until they were suddenly all there, staring…
Given that there are so many shorter trails in San Luis Obispo, I thought it would be a great idea to have a local adventure linking multiple trails! I booked a campsite in Montaña de Oro for me and K, and then we started our micro-adventure bright and early after campsite coffee.
The first, shown above, is the view from Valencia Peak, 1,347 feet. The trail is 4.5 miles R/T with oh-so-lovely ocean. And poppies!
Also from Valencia Peak. You can see all the trails of MDO snaking around. This looks out on Morro Bay.
Next on the list was Black Hill, which is one of the morros! It’s just 661 feet and has a 0.6-mile R/T trail. A great spot for PB&J!
View of Morro Rock from Black Hill!
Looking back from whence we came! View of Montaña de Oro from Black Hill.
Finally, we hit Cerro Alto, an awesome 4.7-mile R/T trail. Unfortunately, this site now charges $10 for parking, so we may not hit it again in the near future. It’s too bad, since this trail is beautiful! The peak is at 2,624 feet, so almost double our first spot, Valencia Peak!
We love the fog rolling in to the valleys… a common occurrence in this area!
- Valencia Peak Trail (4.5 mi)
- Black Hill (0.6 mi)
- Cerro Alto (4.7 mi)
A great 9.8 mile day of local exploration!