DescriptionWest of Taft is the Carrizo Plain National Monument where from mid-March through mid-May wildflowers smother the basin. In southeastern San Luis Obispo County and portions of southwestern Kern County, the nearly 250,000-acre monument is bordered on the northeast by the Temblor Range and the San Andreas Fault, and on the west by the Caliente Range.
The Guy L. Goodwin Education Center, (805) 475-2131, a half-mile west of the junction of Painted Rock Road and Soda Lake Road, is open Thurs.-Sun. 9-4, Dec.-May; phone (661) 391-6000 June-Nov. Recreational activities include hiking and biking, and guided and self-guiding tours are offered. Visiting this remote area requires careful preparation, though. The national monument is cooperatively managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Game and the Nature Conservancy. For more information phone the Bakersfield Field Office at (661) 391-6088.
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