Tidy Tip

Tidy Tip

Mother Nature has had some kind of grudge against me lately. It seems that every time I plan on getting out to the snow or backpacking conditions are anything but favorable. The trend continued last weekend, with a massive storm pounding the Sierra on yet another weekend I had planned on going out on a snow camping overnighter. But no worries – Mother Nature had other plans for me. We decided to head to Carrizo Plain National Monument, a seemingly boring open plain situated in the open undeveloped land between San Luis Obispo and Highway 5.

Carrizo’s shining glory is its massive spring wildflower display. Back in January, this year was shaping up to be a dud in terms of wildflowers, but the February rains have led to ideal conditions. The wildflowers of Carrizo are just starting to peak and we were treated to a long list of them.

Wildflowers sighted include:

Tidy Tip
Popcorn Flower
Cat’s Ear, False Dandelion
California Goldfields
California Poppy
Miniature Lupine
Baby Blue Eyes
Tansy phacelia
Red Maid
Cream Cup
Farewell to Spring
Booth’s Suncup
Purple Owl’s Clover
White Fiesta Flower
Thistle Sage
Silver Bush Lupine

Categories: Trip Reports

Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd

Mountain sports addict. Dog Mom. Craft beer drinker. Tech nerd. The best days are those spent above 10k ft. Meet me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +


Stephanie · March 26, 2009 at 7:11 am

Wow, you sure lucked out with the wildflowers – such gorgeous photos! I don’t know what happened to wildflower season here in AZ, but the local mountains don’t look to really be having any 🙁

tom · March 26, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I’m looking for the road in the plains that takes you to the site where the iconic picture was taken that has two hills coming together, one hill completely carpeted in blue, the other in yellow. I’ve seen this picture several times. Anyone know the road?

Peter Spiller · March 27, 2009 at 9:20 am

Good choice, The weather in the Sierras was brutal but fun if prepared. I have 15-new backpackers in the eastern slopes, and we spent most of Sunday digging each other out of our tents.

Here a quick vid of the weekend:

Beth · April 8, 2009 at 8:52 am

These are beautiful wildflower photos. It may be a little outside your normal hike route, but we are having a nature photo contest specific to East Bay Parks (www.baynature.org/photocontest)

Lia · April 13, 2009 at 7:02 am

Tom, Is the photo you mean the one at this link (http://www.calpolylink.com/s/699/index.aspx?sid=699&gid=1&pgid=252&cid=1465&ecid=1465&ciid=4292&crid=0)? That was taken by Lisa Marrone in the spring of 1998 after the heavy 1997 El Niño rain season, so it may not be quite as spectacular this year. Her discription described the location as “off Highway 58 east of Elkhorn Road”.

Jim Hurt · March 20, 2011 at 11:21 am

How do I contact the Carrizo Plains Center to find out status of flowers? I wish to come up as soon as flowers are peaking. 626-335-1859

Calipidder · March 20, 2011 at 11:23 am

The latest information is available here:


Massive wildflower action at Carrizo Plain · March 26, 2009 at 9:41 am

[…] Calipidder was there last weekend. […]

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