Bakersfield Field Office

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Road Directions. Carrizo Plain National Monument


How to get here

A word of warning. Do not rely on Google Map, MapQuest or the mapping software in your car GPS (or on your smart phone) to get you here. YOU WILL BE LED ASTRAY.  Please follow the recommended routes below.

Soda Lake Road, which bisects the 37 mile length Carrizo Plain National Monument, is the only reliable road.  About 18 miles of Soda Lake Road's length is paved, the remaining 19 miles is dirt. The dirt portion of Soda Lake Road is south of the Goodwin Education Center. Soda Lake Road is well maintained and safe for low clearance vehicles, but you need to be alert to unsigned curves, cattle guards and loose gravel.

Rain and erosion each winter leaves many roads impassible even for four wheel drive vehicles. Panorama and Simmler Roads are usually impassable due to mud long after the last rain. Once the roads have dried out, gullies, ruts, rock-slides and wash-outs often  render roads impassable, especially for low clearance vehicles. 

Stuck in the mud!
Don't let this be you!

Let us suggest that you begin your visit by coming in from the north, for you will be on paved roads except for the last 1/2 mile to the Goodwin Education Center. After coming by the visitor's center, you may want to continue south on Soda Lake Road, and continue on your way home via State Highway 166. When you arrive at State Highway 166, go left (east) to return to the Central Valley and Los Angeles, go right to return to Santa Barbara and coastal cities. If you decide to drive north from State Route 166, you will need to travel 30 miles to the turn off to the Goodwin Education Center - 19 miles of the route will be on a dirt road.  The Goodwin Education Center is open December - May, Thursday to Sunday, 9 am to 4pm.

Directions From Los Angeles

Travel north on Interstate Highway 5. From the Grapevine, at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, you will travel about 42 miles north to Exit 257. Take State Highway 58 west (left) toward Buttonwillow / McKittrick.  In 16 miles SH-58 intersects SH-33; turn left and pass through McKittrick, as you pass through McKittrick, turn right to continue on SH-58 west, up and over the Temblor Range. In 27 miles turn left (south) on Soda Lake Road toward California Valley and the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  In 7.6 miles you will arrive at the boundary of the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  As you travel south on Soda Lake Road be sure to pull off at overlook hill and the Soda Lake boardwalk.  Seven miles from the boundary, a dirt road heads west (right) 1/2 mile to the Goodwin Education Center.

Directions from Bakersfield and Fresno

From Fresno take State Highway 41 south to Interstate 5. Continue south approximately 17 miles to exit 257 - State Highway 58.

From Bakersfield take State Highway 58 (Rosedale Highway) west from State Highway 99.

From the junction of Interstate Highway 5 and State Highway 58, continue west on SH-58, 16.2 miles until it intersects SH-33. At SH-33 turn left and pass through McKittrick as you pass through McKittrick turn right to continue on SH-58 west, up and over the Temblor Range. In 27 miles turn left (south) on Soda Lake Road toward California Valley and the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  In 7.6 miles you will arrive at the boundary of the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  As you travel south on Soda Lake Road be sure to pull off at overlook hill and the Soda Lake boardwalk.  Seven miles from the boundary, a dirt road heads west (right) 1/2 mile to the Goodwin Education Center.

From the Central Coast

Take US Highway 101 to Santa Margarita (located halfway between Atascadero and San Luis Obispo). From Santa Margarita take State Highway 58 east about 40 miles, turn right (south) on Soda Lake Road toward California Valley and the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  In 7.6 miles you will arrive at the boundary of the Carrizo Plain National Monument.  As you travel south on Soda Lake Road be sure to pull off at overlook hill and the Soda Lake boardwalk.  Seven miles from the boundary, a dirt road heads west (right) 1/2 mile to the Goodwin Education Center.


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Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
Carrizo Plain National Monument
Goodwin Education Center
Phone: (805) 475-2131
Open: December 1 - May 31.
Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Th. - Su.
Contact us by Email

Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308
Phone: (661) 391-6000
Fax: (661) 391-6041
Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m., M-F
Contact us by Email