About Drakes Estero in Inverness, California
Drakes Estero is a large body of water in the heart of Point Reyes National Seashore. This shallow saltwater bay is made up of tidal flats, sand bars, and birding habitat that is now protected in Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area.
Until recently this land was an oyster farm called Drakes Bay Oyster Company, but the National Park Service has taken over the property in a dispute that was pushed all the way to the US Supreme Court (they declined to hear the case). While it is a sad case for the family that owned the farm, this area has a lot to offer visitors to the Seashore.
The Drakes Estero Trailhead is nearby (look for signs pointing to “Estero Trail” on Sir Francis Drake Blvd). The trail explores the shoreline of the estero for about four miles. The park provides a separate parking lot with a small beach on the bay for those that don’t want to do the long hike. Look for signs pointing to “Drakes Estero” for this parking lot. It’s a great spot for a picnic or to put kayaks in the water.
This area has birds, seals, coyotes, and other animals to look for on your visit. Note that the estero is closed from March 1st to June 30th during the annual harbor seal birthing period.
- 17171 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Inverness, CA 94937
- Park Name
- Point Reyes National Seashore, Phillip Burton Wilderness Area, Drakes Estero State Marine Conservation Area
- Other Names
- Drakes Bay
- National Park
- Pet Details
- No dogs allowed
- Free parking
- Birdwatching, Wildlife Watching, Kayaking, Hiking
- Restrooms, Wetlands, Trails
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