On a topo map this hill is simply labeled as Point 2177. I gave it the name "Diabase Hill" because of a brochure that details a geology tour of Carrizo Plain National Monument available at the Goodwin Visitor Center. The brochure says that this hill is made of a rock called diabase. It is the symmetrical remains of a volcanic neck and it's visible from the Soda Lake Road about 2 miles north of KCL Campground. The volcano apparently was active 15 million years ago but all that remains is this little hill. It stands alone and one can see a large rock cairn on the top of it thus it begs to be climbed. It's an easy hike/scramble and the elevation gain is only 200 feet making for a quick outing, suitable for kids, but watch out for rattlesnakes near the rocky top! The view from the top is outstanding and spreads north and south down the length of the plain, west towards Caliente Ridge, and east towards the Temblor Range... Great spot for looking for herds of antelope or elk!
In the springtime the hill is covered in wildflowers and the climb affords a special treat. In March 2008 the north side was covered in yellow fiddlenecks, the southwestern side in pink desert mallows, and the southeastern side in fragrant purple fern-leaf phacelia. I also found scattered blue dicks, tidy tips, chicory, and popcorn flowers. Ringing the base of the hill were vast amounts of goldfields.
Point 2447 is nearby and combining the two would make for a longer outing. No doubt 2447 has even more spectacular views but it seemed that there were more wildflowers on 2177.
Getting ThereThis hill is about 2 miles north of KCL Campground along the western side of Soda Lake Road. A small unmarked dirt road leads you to near the base of the hill where you can park in a turnout next to a water reservoir.
There is no entrance fee or hiking permits needed in this area. Practice Leave No Trace Ethics. Off road vehicles are not allowed in this area.
CampingKCL Campground and Selby Campground are both nearby. Both have picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. KCL has a few trees and Selby has shade pavillions. Selby also has a water spigot but the water is not potable. Both campgrounds are free but donations are accepted.
External LinksCarrizo Plain National Monument
Carrizo Plain Weather Forecast