For the nature and wildlife lovers out there, a trip to Inverness California is a must. One major point of interest here is the hike on the Point Reyes Elk Reserve. This trail is amazing. You get to hike while surrounded by the beauty of the massive Pacific Ocean and the beaches below where elephant seals occasionally rest. You also get to see the beautiful sea birds, raptors, coyotes and of course, the majestic Elk.
Located at the northern tip of Point Reyes, the Tomales Point hike, is about 10 miles round trip and will take you roughly 45 minutes when starting from the visitors’ center. The point is at over 1500 ft above sea-level. One thing to note is that this trail has zero shady areas. So be prepared to be in direct sunlight for the entirety of the trip. Make sure to bring a good flask and fill it with plenty of water. Before you start your hike, be sure to check out Pierce Point ranch, which is just next to where the trail starts. The plaques, the old buildings, and the history that precedes it are quite interesting to explore.
The trail is easy to follow as it is well-maintained. The view at the beginning of the trail is amazing. The cascading hills coupled with a view of the McClure Beach will bring your nature photography to life. Photos taken reflecting on the color combinations of the brown earth against the background of the white-cloud littered blue skies and the blue ocean waters could be award-winning. No kidding. The view of the coastline is a work of art.
Birds of a Feather
The huge numbers of birds here will be something like paradise to all the avid bird-watches and bird photographers. A whopping number of approximately 490 bird species have been recorded at the Point Reyes National Seashore. This is a great location for documenting, discovering, and photographing the vast array of avian diversity. The shape of the peninsula, the diverse habitat and the proximity to the Pacific Flyway are touted as some of the reasons for the numbers and diversity of the birds at the Point Reyes. Some of the birds you may find include Pigeon Falcons, Surf Scoters and Peregrine Falcons. You should also be able to see the red-tailed hawks perched on electric poles. The brown-Pelicans diving dangerously for their meal of fresh fish is an adrenaline-raising experience.
A symbol of conservation success, The Tule Elk is a huge tourist attraction drawing over two million visitors annually. These magnificent animals were once on the brink of extinction (in the 1800s). Conservation efforts have led to the successful integration of about 30 animals who bred to the nearly 4,000 Tule Elks today! The best place to view the Elk is the Tomales Point trailhead. Bring your binoculars or telephoto lens, like the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens, for up close and amazing views. To avoid disturbing the animals’ routine and way of life, please watch them quietly and at no point should you come between a cow and a calf (or a bull and a group of cows!). The bulls’ antlers can weigh up to 18 pounds and fall off every winter. A visit to the Point Reyes Elk Reserve is a sure way to learn more fun facts about the Tule Elks, enjoy the wildlife and hone your skills at wildlife photography.