|A lone tree at Beam Flat, Elkhorn Plain|
With temperatures soaring to the triple digits, yet needing to get out and see something new, I decided on a driving tour of the Elkhorn Plain and Temblor Hills on the eastern border of the Carrizo Plain. The Elkhorn is very similar in nature to the Carrizo but somewhat smaller in terms of acreage, though this region feels even more desolate and remote. It is a moon-like environment right now, parched and empty. Various routes climb up to the Temblor Ridge, most of which are narrow canyon trails twisting east from Elkhorn Road. Driving through the Elkhorn Plain with a 2-wheel drive vehicle can be done without difficulty but driving up to the Temblors and along the ridge almost certainly asks for 4-wheel.
The Temblor Ridge drive offers spectacular views of both the Carrizo and the Elkhorn Plains and long views into the oil fields of Taft. The north part of the ridge can be confusing due to the numerous ranch roads which criss-cross the ridge. Finding Hurricane Road will return travelers to Elkhorn Road and the Carrizo. I enjoyed my driving excursion and pulled off frequently when new sights and views of note required a photo. Sometimes it's fun to explore from behind the wheel, and this route was a great example of that. Enjoy the photos.
|The Elkhorn Plain and Temblor Range from atop the Elkhorn Hills.|
|One way to dispose of a vehicle, Temblor Range.|
|View from atop Temblor Ridge.|
|Panorama Hills and the Carrizo Plain, from Temblor Ridge Road.|
|Another view of the Temblor Range.|
|Deep canyons beneath the Temblor Range.|
|A view from the Temblors looking east toward Taft.|
|Descending Hurricane Road into the Carrizo.|
|The Trans-Desert Express.|