You don't need to get into a car to find beautiful and
serene nature walks. On our property our guests can
walk the back nature trail following the creek valley
to a private back meadow with places to sit and comtemplate
nature. You can also wander off to Chicken Ranch Beach
and Shell Beach on Tomales Bay. From the entrance to
Shell Beach you can take a beautiful hiking trail through
Tomales State Park to Heart's Desire Beach.
enjoy the diverse avifauna in our valley in addition
to the well-known birding spots nearby.
Point Reyes National Seashore offers some of the finest
birdwatching in the United States. More than 70,000
acres of habitat harbor an incredible variety of bird
life. Nearly 490 avian species have been observed in
the park and on adjacent waters. Our valley is home
to more than 65 bird species, including a family of
ospreys that nest in plain view -- returning every year.
Spend some quiet time birding here and you may add to
our bird list!
park's coastal location and its wealth of unspoiled
habitats, estuaries, grasslands, coastal scrub and forest
all attract many migrating and wintering birds. The
projection of the peninsula some 10 miles seaward from
the "mainland" makes Point Reyes National
Seashore a landing spot for many vagrants — birds
that may have made errors in navigation and thus are
unexpected in this area.
All of these factors account for the Point Reyes area
consistently reporting one of the highest tallies in
the nation every year during the Christmas bird count.
in the longest migration of any mammal, the California
gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) swims 16,000 kilometers
(10,000 miles) each year, spending about one third of
its life migrating from the cold, nutrient-rich waters
of Alaska, to the warm, shallow lagoons of Baja California.
Along the way, these incredible animals can often be
seen from the shores of Point Reyes. What drives the
gray whale to undertake this incredible annual round
trip from Alaska to Baja? Food and reproduction.
Jutting 16 kilometers (10 miles) into the Pacific Ocean,
the headlands of the Point Reyes Peninsula offer one
of the finest spots to view the gray whale. The Gulf
of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary provides
a 32-kilometer (20-mile) wide "highway" along
which the whales cruise; sometimes they travel in the
close lane (nearer to shore), and sometimes they travel
in the far lane (farther out to sea). The areas around
Chimney Rock and the Lighthouse offer some of the best
whale watching spots in the park.
being absent for more than 150 years, elephant seals
returned to the sandy Point Reyes Headlands in the early
1970s. In 1981, the first breeding pair was discovered
near Chimney Rock. Since then, researchers have found
that the colony is growing at a dramatic annual average
rate of 16 percent. Fanning out from their initial secluded
spot, the seals have expanded to popular beaches.
December through March a breeding colony of elephant
seals can be observed from Elephant Seal Overlook near
Chimney Rock, above beautiful Drakes Bay. The males
are the first to arrive here, in December, to stake
out a claim on the beach. Then pregnant females begin
to arrive and soon give birth to a single pup. Subadult
and juvenile animals arrive and the colony can number
close to one hundred animals.
the Overlook you can witness the fascinating behavior
of these animals, including male dominance contests,
birthing of pups and the interactions of mothers and
pups. You will hear the distinctive vocalizations of
females, pups and the powerful trumpeting of the adult
males (bulls) which can be heard for over a mile.
weekends and holidays, highly trained docents staff
the Overlook. They have binoculars, spotting scopes,
and a wealth of information to share with you.
and other pack animals are permitted on most established
trails and beaches at Point Reyes National Seashore.
They may not travel off trail because conditions are
not maintained for their safety, and their presence
can negatively impact the environment. You can stop
by one of the park's Visitor Centers to pick up a trail
map and obtain more information.
Brooks Stables (415-663-1570) is a full service riding
stable with a concession to operate within the National
Seashore. They offer a variety of activities and services,
including guided trail rides.
Reyes National Seashore provides a variety of on- and
off-road biking opportunities traversing diverse habitats
and terrains. You can bike the roads or explore trails
through evergreen forests, coastal scrub, or along estuaries
and beach bluffs.
Centers offer a free map of the park's trails, indicating
which trails are designated for bike travel.Point Reyes
permits biking only outside of wilderness areas along
emergency access/dirt fire roads, paved roads and a
few single-track trails.
may be rented in Point Reyes Station (by prior reservation)
at Point Reyes Outdoors (415- 663-8330).
Tomales Bay is the largest "unspoiled" watershed
and wetlands on the California coastline. Kayak rentals
and classes are available at Blue Waters Kayaking (415-669-2600).
Guided Kayak tours and classes are conducted by Point
Reyes Outdoors (415-663-8330).