Technology Hiker

Elk, Coyotes, & Owls at Tomales Point in Point Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Point Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore is the best place to watch land based wildlife in the Bay Area.  The Tule Elk Preserve protects 300+ elk.  Bring your telephoto lense and binoculars as the grasslands make it easier to spot wildlife.  On a recent hike with my young boys, we saw multiple herds of elk, a coyotes, burrowing owls, and many birds of prey.  My oldest compared the hike to being in Wild Kratts episode given the number of animals.  The Tomales Point Trail starts at the Pierce Point Ranch trailhead.  The trail is a rolling an out and back route about 9.7 miles in length.

The trail starts at the Historic Pierce Point Ranch.  Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen since there is little shade.  The ranch is about a 45 minute drive from Point Reyes’s Bear Valley Visitor center.  Also check the forecast since the trail can be muddy after rains and also socked in with fog.

We watched a very healthy coyote hunt rodents for about 20 minutes.  The coyote’s fur was thick and its teeth white and sharp.  He started hunting above the trail and then hunted below it on the slopes.

The trail follows the Peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the West and Tomales Bay on the East.

While watching the coyote, we spotted a burrowing owl.  These small owls live in holes in the ground.  The hawks perched on rocks to survey the landscape since there are few trees.

Hikers must be alert since the elk move across the trails & landscape.  This picture is from about 2.5 miles from the trailhead.

Picnics are a key part of any hike, and the food always tastes better after fresh air and exercise.

Enjoy the hike and be alert since the Tule Elk are huge.  Bring your telephoto lense, so you can admire the wildlife at a safe distance.