Skip to content

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.

Access to the shoreline at the mouth of Drakes Estero is possible from Drakes Beach and Limantour Beach.

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
Pet Details
No dogs allowed
Free parking
Birdwatching, Wildlife Watching, Kayaking, Hiking
Restrooms, Wetlands, Trails
Map of Drakes Estero
Inverness, US
1:11 pm, July 18, 2024
temperature icon 87°F
L: 55° H: 87°
Feels like 99.63 °F scattered clouds
Wind gusts: 8 m/s
UV Index: 10.62
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 2 km
Sunrise: 6:03 am
Sunset: 8:32 pm
Humidity 81 %
Pressure1016 mb
Wind 8 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Abbotts Lagoon Beach

2.6 miles away

Abbotts Lagoon Beach is along the rugged western shoreline of Point Reyes National Seashore. The beach is backed by...

View beach

Point Reyes South Beach

3.3 miles away

South Beach is the southern access to Point Reyes Beach, an 11-mile long strand nicknamed “The Great Beach” in Point Reyes National...

View beach

Nearby Attractions


There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.