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Carrizo Plain
Summer Views

Harsh and seemingly barren most of the year, the Carrizo Plain represents a unique ecosystem that includes a rich abundance of wildflowers each spring drawing visitors from all over the State.

Wallace Creek is a significant geological feature of the Carrizo Plain's landscape. It is where an ancient stream bed suddenly makes an abrupt right turn north along the San Andreas Fault. After several hundred feet, it makes another abrupt turn left as it returns to its original stream bed. Although this geological detour is most dramatic when observed from a high altitude, this photo shows the phenomenon at ground level.

Not everyone will enjoy a drive through the Carrizo Plain.
The landscape is lonely and remains the same mile after mile.
Once a shallow fresh-water lake drawing thousands of
migrating birds each year, now only a 50-mile salt flat remains.
A large part of the Carrizo Plain is now protected as a National Park,
yet the entire valley was once extensively farmed.
Cattle still graze in some areas, but are slowly being replaced
by the reintroduction of Pronghorn Antelope and Tule Elk.
Coaxed from its den by a piece of straw, this Tarantula
quickly retreated to escape the mid-day sun.
Along the trail to Wallace Creek, we caught a glimpse of a
Western Rattlesnake coiled in the shade of this burrow.
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Go to Carrizo Plain Spring Views