The Carrizo Plain National Monument has two improved campgrounds, the KCL and the Selby. Camping is available on a first come, first served basis we do not take reservations for campsites. (Note: Groups of 20 or more must obtain authorization from the Bakersfield BLM office as well as groups that are charging a fee. Please contact Ryan Cooper at 661-391-6048 for authorization or information). Both campgrounds are primitive, containing picnic tables, fire pits and vault toilets. Electricity and drinking water are not available. The CPNM does not have garbage pickup service. Please act responsibly and pack out any refuse you might have. Hunters, please do not leave gut piles or other animal parts in the campgrounds.
Campfire permits are required and special fire restrictions may be in effect. Contact the BLM office for an update on current restrictions. There is no fee for campfire permits and they may be obtained at the Goodwin Education Center, the Bakersfield BLM office and from any BLM Ranger in the area.
The KCL Campground has 12 campsites (two of which are elevated American Disability Act compliant) with picnic tables, fire pits and vault toilets. It has some of the few shade trees found on the CPNM. Formerly owned by the Kern County Land Company, the KCL still has a few of the original barn structures as well as some of the corrals. Some of these structures are in disrepair; please be careful if you go exploring inside. You may use the corrals for your horses and there is generally enough space in the campground to park horse trailers. There is usually water available for livestock use.
KCL Campground is located just west of Soda Lake Road, 10.4 miles south of Goodwin Education Center, and 19 miles north of State Highway 166 at: N 35° 5' 26.1", W 119° 44' 5.59" (35.090583, -119.734886).
The Selby Campground has 13 campsites, picnic tables, fire pits, horse corrals and vault toilets. There is usually water available for livestock use. This campground is nestled at the base of the Caliente Mountains. There are no shade trees but this campground is more secluded and the camper is only steps away from unlimited hiking in the Wilderness Study Area that lies outside the campground boundaries. The oak/juniper woodland is a haven for many birds and other wildlife and the beautiful Selby Rocks are a site not to be missed. (You may explore around the rocks but please do not climb on the fragile sandstone. Watch out for natural dangers such as rattlesnakes.)
Selby Campground is located 4.5 miles south of Soda Lake Road at the end of Selby Road. From the Goodwin Education Center travel .8 miles southeast of the Ed Center road on Soda Lake Road turn right (south) on Selby Road. From State Highway 166 travel north 28.8 miles on Soda Lake Road to Selby Road. The campground is located at: N 35° 7' 41.29", W 119° 50' 27.26" (35.128135, -119.840907).
Open camping is also an option within certain areas of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. Please refer to the Visitor Resources Map . This map indicates areas where open camping is allowed. Open camping is defined as areas open to car camping that are outside of the two designated campgrounds. All camping must be self-contained and everthing packed in must be packed out. Camp sites may be away from the road, but vehicles are not allowed off road.
Generally, open camping is permitted in the foothills and mountainous areas. Open camping is not permitted in the valleys (both Carrizo and Elkhorn), nor at Soda Lake and adjacent areas. This visitor resource map is available at the Goodwin Education Center and the BLM Bakersfield Office for purchase and is posted in kiosks located at the North and South entrances into the Monument.
When camping outside of established campgrounds, please remember the following:
- A good campsite is found, not made. Place kitchen areas, tents and stock on areas where obvious signs of prior use exist.
- Leave vehicles along the edge of roadway; do not drive to your chosen camp site.
- If you alter an area in any way, restore its natural appearance before leaving.
- Camping or overnight parking is not allowed within 200 yards of any natural or artificial water source to allow wildlife unrestricted access to available water.
- Pack out everything you brought in with you: spent brass, shotgun shells, cigarette butts, etc. The Carrizo can be very windy; bag trash immediately to prevent it from blowing away.
- Use toilet facilities located in different areas throughout the Monument. If necessary, dig small holes (cat holes), 4" - 8" deep, to bury human waste, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cat hole. Use a minimal amount of tissue and don't leave toilet tissue on the ground.
- Protect your food from animals by storing rations securely.
- Keep the wild in wildlife; don't bury food or leave it behind.