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Exploring the Carrizo Plain National Monument

April 30, 2024

Moto Blog

Exploring the Carrizo Plain National Monument

Exploring the Carrizo Plain National Monument

Tales from the Seat of an Adventure Bike – Part 1


I recently had someone comment on one of my YouTube videos asking me if I’ve ever made it down to or ridden in the Kern County area. I responded and let him know that I had never ridden down that way but would love the opportunity to explore their local trails. We exchanged contact info and he emailed me with a couple of ride suggestions local to the Bakersfield area, one of them being the Carrizo Plain National Monument.


I had never heard of the Carrizo Plain National Monument, but after checking it out online and watching some videos on YouTube, I was intrigued. Carrizo Plain is known for its spring wildflower bloom and every so often, a Super Bloom. We made arrangements to meet up on Saturday April 20th for a day of adventure. Erik, (the gentleman who reached out to me) also has a KTM 890 Adventure R motorcycle which is how he ended up on my YouTube channel to begin with. I’m always excited to meet a new riding partner and fellow adventure bike enthusiast and this day of riding was shaping up to be special. And, spoiler alert, it was awesome!


When Saturday arrived, I was up at 5:30 am, quickly loaded up the motorcycle in my trailer, and on the road by 6:15 am heading towards my friend Marty’s house to pick him and his bike up to accompany me on this journey. Around 9:00 am that morning, we pulled up to Erik’s house, made introductions, and suited and geared up to hit the road for a great day of adventure.


Check Out Part 1 of my Video Diary of this Day!

The weather was just perfect that morning, 73° with clear skies and bright sunshine. As we pulled out of town, Erik in the lead with me in the middle and Marty picking up the rear, we hit Stockdale Highway to head West out of Bakersfield through Buttonwillow and onwards to Highway 58 which culminated in a fun section of twisty pavement as it meandered through a canyon and gradually picked up some elevation. This was such a scenic area with the foothills all bright green with small patches of wildflowers on occasion. If you ride a motorcycle then you know that the spring and fall are prime seasons for rides like this and we were thoroughly enjoying every minute of it so far.  Eventually, we came to a road called 7 Mile Road and we turned left off of Highway 58 towards Soda Lake. There is a visitor center just off the road that I will investigate sometime in the future when I have a chance to come back and bring Linda to this beautiful area. The pavement quickly gave way to a washboard dirt road and the KTM 890 Adventure R sprang to life, now in its natural habitat soaking up all the little bumps as if they weren’t even there. The Carrizo Plain is exactly that, an expansive Plain that spreads across and envelopes Soda Lake on all sides. There was a faint orange/yellow glow covering the landscape but really no additional colors. As I cruised along, I found myself wondering if so late in April, maybe we had missed the bulk of the spring bloom for the year. We headed onward and turned off to hit an adjacent dirt road towards Soda Lake. This seemed like a good time to throw my drone up in the air and get some shots of the landscape as well as capture some video of the three of us riding, which is exactly what I did.



We played around on this area before deciding to head deeper into the Plain and more Westward, and, I’m sure glad we did. As we meandered around, we found an off-camber dirt road that headed up in elevation and along a ridge that opened up into some incredible views. The wildflowers also became considerably thicker, all in the same yellow and orange colors with a few spots of pink along the way. This was such a surreal experience, surrounded by this incredible beauty. We stopped for a break to take in the view and this is where I grabbed the cover photo for this BLOG post.



It was around 1 pm by this time but this day was only just getting started. Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 of this BLOG coming soon where I’ll wrap up the rest of the day’s events!


All my best,



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