Wallace Creek

See the effects when two tectonic plates collide at Wallace Creek Interpretive Trail at Carizo National Plain

Photo: Dave Miller

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Wallace Creek Interpretive trail is an easy 2 mile out and back hike that follows Wallace creek and shows the changes made by earthquakes and movement on the San Andreas Fault. In springtime, this hike provides more views of Carizo Plain’s and the Temblor Range’s spectacular Wildflower dispays.


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 1.2



Location: 35.271198, -119.827171

L @ Y. Standing on the edge of the San Andreas fault, see the effects first hand as you gaze upon the two dramatic turns in Wallace Creek ahead. Take the trail left to walk the distance the Pacific tectonic plate has moved from the North American plate.

Returning fom WC003, head R as the trail ascends to a higher lookout for another perspective.


Location: 35.271111, -119.826607

Wallace Creek Overlook. The two tectonic plates meet here and have been slowly moving apart widening Wallace Creek. Continue on the trail towards the colorful hills of the Temblor Range (Springtime Wildflowers are amazing here).


Location: 35.271832, -119.828117

The 400 feet traveled from WC002 is the amount the creek has shifted by the forces of the San Andreas Fault. The Pacific plate is moving 1.3′ per year towards San Francisco, pushing Wallace creek further north. Retrace route back to WC002 and continue your trek.


Location: 35.271442, -119.821724

Trail ends with a great view of the Temblor Range and one of the main features of the Carizo Plain. Retrace route back to trailhead.


Location: 35.267399, -119.827072

Wallace Creek Trailhead. Head north on the sandy trail to Wallace Creek. The trail cuts through a large field of Fiddleneck wildflowers prevelant in the Carizo Plain during the spring. Wallace Creek is dry most of the year.


Location: 35.267529, -119.826958

Wallace Creek

Location: 35.271751, -119.827957

Bend in the Creek

Location: 35.271175, -119.826744

Creek Bend

Location: 35.271156, -119.8265

Temblor Range

Location: 35.271542, -119.821579

Grassy Trail

Location: 35.27161, -119.823586

Wallace Creek Trail

Location: 35.271542, -119.825043

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