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A Walk at Point Reyes

The land jutting out between Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean feels as if you’re walking on a land bridge carved by time, whale songs and sky.

When you first see a Tulle Elk, especially if you’re use to smaller and more delicate ungulates like our local mule deer, your mind might wander to more substantial creatures. Camel, you might think. The the real treat of walking in Pt Reyes in that you’re in a reserve and the animals know it. It’s easy to see a coyote, fox, weasel, and an array of raptors on any given day. Likely the moment you have parked you will have seen something miraculous; owl pellets under a cypress tree, a fox peering past you, a raven cutting the sharp wind, the low flying Northern Harriers, who the old timers affectionately call Swamp Hawks. You might also see scientists, naturalists and professional photographers.

The trail itself is cut into the rolling hills, lulling you along the coast, the Bay over your right shoulder when you start off. Deep purple irises, screaming orange poppies, wild radish, it’s a flower-lover’s dream come true. Rocks jut out and this is where you will see the raptors perched. It doesn’t matter what season it is, the weather can’t be predicted, so bring layers and a hat that you can tie on. Remember, you’re on a bridge to the sea. You can walk as far as 9.4 miles round trip, but you could also go two miles and have an experience that leaves you feeling transported.

Do note: each flower, each antler, each rodent you witness is one piece of a complicated yet perfectly fashioned ecosystem. Please leave each piece as you found it; even the feathers and antlers are sources of nutrition for other animals on the Point. And you too are a part of the ecosystem, one that is walking, moving about, observing. We have no doubt you’ll feel the connection.