Hudson Ranch Road is a scenic drive through Los Padres National Forest from Highway 33 to Frazier Park. Sweeping views of the Central Valley, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Emigdio Mountains and the Chumash Wilderness are revealed at each bend. Visit in the Spring for dramatic green hills covered in wildflowers.
Wind Wolves Preserve is the largest non-profit preserve on the west coast at 93,000 acres. The Transverse & Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert and San Joaquin Valley all meet to create one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country. Protected by the Wildlands Conservancy, the preserve is free and open to the public for all to enjoy. Visit in the Spring when the golden hills turn a brilliant green and burst with wildflowers.
Carrizo Plain National Monument is a true wilderness experience in California's Great Central Valley. More than 200,000 acres of untouched beauty reveal what the entire valley looked like long before development. Beautiful grassland plains hug rolling hills blanketed by a rainbow of wildflowers in the Spring. The San Andreas Fault cuts right through the plain giving it a rich geological history. Native Chumash considered the plain sacred and inhabited the area for at least 4,000 years.
Today, this is the only original California grassland strand remaining. The highest concentration of endangered species in the state reside here including the tule elk, pronghorn, San Joaquin kit fox & antelope squirrel, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat as well as the California condor. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management as opposed to the National Park Service, the plain is continuously in a controversial debate over grazing, solar power and oil drilling rights. One visit will have you one the side for preservation.
*Access is dirt road only, 4 wheel drive strongly recommended
Tejon Ranch is the largest private land owner in California. The Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mojave Desert all meet here to create an ecosystem like no place else on Earth. Rare and endangered plant and animal species call the ranch home. In the Spring, the mountains come alive with a mosaic of wildflowers. Access to the ranch is only allowed through the Tejon Ranch Conservancy.
Fort Tejon State Historic Park was a United States Army military post established in 1854 to control and protect Native Americans in the area as well as control livestock. The Gold Rush brought about great conflict between miners and Natives. Land disputes began and Native Americans were forced to live on reservations. Efforts for the Civil War was needed out East so the army left after only 10 years. Restored exterior and interior buildings recreate the way of life here 150 years ago. Valley Oak Trees up to 400 years old are also part of the park property.
The San Emigdio Mountains are a beautiful transverse mountain range in Los Padres National Forest. Rising high above the southern portion of the Central Valley, these mountains turn brilliant tones of green in the springtime and were named for Saint Emygdius, a Christian Martyr.
Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain National Monument is an amazing pictograph rock art site. Thousands of years old, these pictographs were created by the Chumash, Salinan and Yokut Natives. The pigments were created from a yucca shrub while they were painted using brushes made of rodent hair. Although the meanings are now lost, the art remains sacred. Access to the site is via a rough dirt road and limited to guided tours from March to May and is a 1.4 mile hike. The rest of the year you need to register online to gain access to this federally protected site.
Pictograph/Petroglpyh Etiquette: Take many photos but DO NOT TOUCH. Oils from our hands can destroy forever. Do not alter the rock art in any way or form and please stay on the trail to protect the fragile desert ecosystem.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is a state park in California's Central Valley. The park preserves the town of Allensworth; the only town in California to be founded, financed and governed by African Americans. Allen Allensworth founded the town in 1908. He was a Kentucky-born slave who escaped to become a union soldier during the Civil War. He was also the first African American reach the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The people of Allensworth came together to create their own American Dream: a place of freedom where they could control their own destiny.