|Carrizo Plains to MacMillan Canyon
road is composed of long straight well graded sections of dirt road
through the National Monument. There are two campgrounds here, KCL near
the main road, and my favorite, Selby, tucked back up in the hills a
few miles off the main road. Water is not potable at Selby.|
Take some time here to visit the visitor center, view the escarpments of the San Andreas fault, see Soda Lake an ephemeral salt lake with brine shrimp.
You may also see Pronghorn and Elk along with numerous species of birds.
“What the Great Plains once were to the nation, Carrizo still is to California: uninhabited, unspoiled starry-night country.” —National Geographic Adventure
“It's the very absence of human activity that makes the Carrizo unique. While other portions of central California were being plowed and bulldozed, the Carrizo Plain stayed much as it had always been.” —Sunset
“The vast, arid, strikingly beautiful Carrizo Plain—sometimes called California's "Serengeti"—is one of America's newest national monuments and one of [our] most successful projects.” —The Nature Conservancy
National Monument, you enter a monument to Real Estate Dreams, there is
a city here, or, rather, there was intended to be. |
This is California Valley a semi failed community similar to California City in the desert near Mojave.
There is a motel and cafe, but I don't believe they are open. There is no gas.
on through California Valley, turning west on Highway 58 crossing a low
pass into the valley of San Juan Creek. Turn off Highway 58 onto the
Pozo LaPanza road passing the dramatice main ranch house of the LaPanza
Ranch. Our route soon turns to dirt and entering the Los Padres
National Forest climbs twisting nicely to La Panza summit. Just south
of the summit is Queen Bee Campsite, and a mile beyond it is a nicer
unnamed campsite with new table and large water trough fed from a
|Descend the far side of the LaPanza summit, at Navaho Creek turn north and follow the road, there is camping along here also. |
This is the Pozo LaPanza OHV area, you might not be alone.
We leave the National Forest again, heading into ranch country.
|We now come to the small community of Shandon. There is gas in Shandon, and probably a cafe, I don't know for sure.|
Nearby at Cholame is the James Dean Memorial, he was killed in an auto accident near there. There is also a restaurant.
But we have a better place to go.
Leave Shandon on Highway 41, turn left onto 46 go two miles to MacMillan Canyon.
Head North on MacMillan Canyon Road to Parkfield.
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