Estero Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Marin County, California. It is within Point Reyes National Seashore and Phillip Burton Wilderness Area. It is 10.5 miles long and begins at 150 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 18.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,052 feet. Near the trailhead there are an information map, a waste basket, restroom, parking, and a picnic site. Along the trail there is a coastline.
Estero Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Vast congregations of shorebirds gather on the mudflats off Sunset Beach to rest, feed, and socialize. A perch on the sand or rocks that rim the beach is perfect for human rest, feeding, and socializing. Drakes Estero harbors a staggering abundance of bird life—thick clusters of sanderlings and sandpipers hunting and pecking in the mudflats, brown pelicans and gulls gliding low over the water searching for food, lone herons and egrets hungrily stalking the rushes. The Estero Trail offers ample opportunity to enjoy the avian spectacle."
--Tracy Salcedo-Chourre, Exploring Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area (Falcon Guides).
"Towering almost 150 feet above the narrow strip of water separating the Limantour Spit from the mainland, Drakes Head offers absolutely awesome views of the sweeping arc of Drakes Bay. From the crest of Drakes Head on a clear day, the panoramic splendor of Point Reyes and the Gulf of the Farallones is displayed with cartographic clarity. Southernmost in your sights is Lands End; moving northward, the sea sweeps into the great indent of the Golden Gate and expands westward to the saw-toothed rocks of the elusive Farallon Islands. The rugged Marin County coastline stretches into the national seashore, mellowing into the golden arc of Limantour Beach and the green expanse of Drakes Bay. The creamy Limantour Spit, directly below the head, is framed on the inside by the turquoise shallows of the Estero de Limantour; looking west, Drakes Bay is edged by milky cliffs that swing southward to the hazy headlands of the point."
"This is an out and back hike through rolling pastureland to the best viewpoint on Point Reyes. A good hike to see birds and mammals. Trail may be closed at bridge."
--Don & Kay Martin, Hiking Marin: 141 Great Hikes in Marin County (Marin Press LLC).
"Excellent bird-watching in the estero, the largest harbor seal breeding colony at Point Reyes, abundant iris in the spring, and outstanding views from Drakes Head make this a great all-around hike or bike ride. The trail leads over gently rolling moors above Home Bay on Drakes Estero and then crosses open pastureland to reach Drakes Head. You’re in grazing country here—outside of the seashore’s designated wilderness area—so in addition to the wildlife, you’ll see plenty of patches of cow dung, but the view from Drakes Head is well worth it."
--Jessica Lage, Point Reyes: The Complete Guide to the National Seashore and Surrounding Area (Wilderness Press).
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