In one of his last acts as President of the United States, Bill Clinton signed a proclamation designating the Carrizo Plain a National Monument. Located in eastern San Luis Obispo County, the Carrizo Plain is the last remaining reminder of what the San Joaquin Valley used to look like and is an easy drive from Los Angeles.
The area features wildlife viewing (Tule elk, pronghorn antelope, giant kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox, sandhill crane, raptors); Painted Rock, a sacred place and a significant example of Native American rock painting; the San Andreas Fault; Soda Lake; and the Traver Ranch, an example of the dry farming that existed here.
Typically in early spring the monument is alive with wildflowers. Carrizo Plain wildflowers include: Goldfields, Owl's Clover, Phacelia, Baby Blue Eyes, Lupine, Coreopsis, and California Poppy. The Carrizo Plain National Monument has a unique management partnership involving the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), California Department of Fish & Game and The Nature Conservancy.