Bureau of Land ManagementBakersfield Field OfficeBakersfield, CA 93308
Once on Carrizo Plain National Monument, continue on Soda Lake Road until you arrive at sign for Soda Lake Overlook. Overlook is on one side of road, boardwalk is on the other side of the road.
Soda Lake Overlook
A normally dry lake bed, covers an area of about 3,000 acres. It is the largest remaining natural alkali wetland in southern California and the only closed basin within the coastal mountains. Soda Lake concentrates salts as water is evapoarted away, leaving white deposits of sulfates and carbonates. Despite this harsh envirnoment, small plant and animal species are well adapted to this setting. In the 1880's, the saline deposits of Soda Lake were mined for use at nearby cattle ranches as salt licks or for preserving meat. Prior to 1908 the Carrisa Chemical Company contructed a 600 ton per month capacity processing plant to recover sodium sulphate. Once the salts were processed they were sacked and hauled to McKittrick for distribution