Santa Rosa, CA
Ranger | 2579 pts
I''ve hiked this trail in Spring and Fall and always enjoy it. In the Spring there are endless fields of wildflowers. This section of Point Reyes is a Tule Elk Preserve and we see dozens to hundreds of them grazing the slopes of Tomales Point. Just this last trip we saw many groups of elk, including one group of about two dozen that saw us coming and dashed across the trail about 100 ft ahead of us so as not to get cut off from a larger group. We also saw a couple males get up on hind legs and challenge each other maybe 50 ft from the trail. You are definitely and obviously a guest roaming through elk territory while on this trail. In addition to the elk, we also saw what I think was a coyote and in another spot a fox. There are also numerous avian species from hawks and vultures to a variety of smaller birds bathing in the puddles on the trail. It is quite interesting to watch a raptor ride a thermal coming up the cliffs from the ocean and seemingly hover in midair looking for prey whilst a group of a couple dozen elk lazily watch while sitting in the grassy bluffs near what seems like an ancient rock outcropping. All of this--the hawk, elk, and cliffs--are near enough you feel like you could reach out and touch them. Along most of the trip you can see Tomales Bay, a long, underwater section of the San Andreas Fault. At the end of the trail you can see Dillon Beach to the East and all the way to Bodega Bay and Doran Beach to the North. Note that a large section of the cliffs along the trail at the very end collapsed into the sea in early 2017. You can see cracks all along the ground in this area when not hidden by overgrown vegetation and the area is considered unstable and subject to further erosion events at any time.