March 16, 2015

It's difficult when you live in a state to constantly come up with new places to visit.
With some research we found three places not well known.

Alabama Hills, located just west of Lone Pine is one of the most unique desert places we have ever seen in California. It's also one of the best know western movie locations from the talkies to the present, and with good reason. It was close to Hollywood, very unique and largely unknown, hence more privacy. Best of all for us campers, it's free. More information here

The second place is Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve about 15 miles west of Lancaster. Flowers are seasonal, but at 2500 plus feet this treeless plain has good views of the surround areas on 7 miles of trails. The Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park
is also close by.
More information here

And third is Carrizo Plain National Monument roughly between Bakersfield and Santa Maria. This is a dry alkaline lake set amid a grassland plain with unusual flora and fauna. It's worth a day's visit and had two campgrounds.
More information here.

We also found some hikes at Death Valley of interest and camped at Montana de Oro for some mountain and coastal hikes. Lastly a climb to the top of an extinct volcano and visit to a board-walked Elfin forest completed our 9 day trip.