Virtual Guidebook to El Camino Real
Parkfield Grade Road
between Coalinga and Parkfield California


A very scenic unpaved road connects Highway 198 west of Coalinga to Parkfield on the San Andreas Fault line. It winds two thousand feet upwards through grassy hillsides with massive bouldery outcrops to a summit from which you can see the Sierra Nevada on clear days.

Best in spring when there are wildflowers, avoid in wet weather.



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Giant knockers (a geologic term) on the north side of the Parkfield Grade Road. These massive blocks of serpentinite weather slowly out of a matrix of blue clay.

(March 28, 2009)


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Lush springtime green grass and wildflowers seen along the Parkfield Grade Road. This classic California landscape is little known and remains pristine.

(March 28, 2009)


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The Inner Coast Ranges, seen here along the Parkfield Grade Road, become increasingly arid with distance inland.

(March 28, 2009)


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California's state flower, the golden poppy, along the Parkfield Grade Road.

(March 28, 2009)


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Rooting by feral pigs is evident throughout the coast ranges, as seen here north of Parkfield.

(March 28, 2009)


Next Locality: Parkfield