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Credit & Copyright: NPOD Mineral Gradient:Soda Lake is the main attraction of Carrizo Plain National Monument. As you can see, the term "lake" is used loosely, and Soda Lake can go for years without seeing any standing water! Belying the crusty appearance, the white substance is actually soft and quite muddy. Standing on the lake, as the warm, salty mud compresses beneath your feet and spills over your shoes, you can't help but imagine the skeletons of wayward, wandering, animals that must be at the bottom of the lake. If it has a bottom.