The Carrizo Plain

Tucked into eastern San Luis Obispo County, an hour in any direction from the nearest town or gas station, lies the Carrizo Plain. This broad, largely undeveloped valley may be one of California's best kept secrets with its rich diversity of wildlife, stunning wildflower displays and great vistas. In 2001, approximately 250,000 acres of this beautiful area was designated as the Carrizo Plain National Monument by Presidential proclamation.


Creating conservation initiatives and facilitating on-going conservation and restoration efforts on the Carrizo Plain.

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Roughly 50 miles long and 15 miles wide, the Carrizo Plain has seasonal wetlands, vernal pools, shrub lands, annual grasslands, and one of the state's largest playa lakes.

It is framed by the San Andreas Fault and the Temblor Range on the east, and the Caliente Range on the west.


The Carrizo Plain is an incredible place rich with threatened and endangered wildlife species such as the San Joaquin kit fox, giant kangaroo rat, and blunt-nosed leopard lizard. The Carrizo Plain supports working ranches and provides an important home for many plants and animals, including the reintroduced Pronghorn Antelope. The Plain is the major remnant of a similar habitat that existed in the southern San Joaquin Valley before it was transformed by modern agriculture.