Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing

4.6
#5 of 13 in Things to do in Moss Landing
The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves established nationwide as field laboratories for scientific research and estuarine education. Elkhorn Slough is located approximately 100mi south of San Francisco, California on the central shore of Monterey Bay. The Reserve is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is managed as Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve by the California Department of Fish and Game.DescriptionThe Mission of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve is to ensure the perpetual health of ecosystems in Elkhorn Slough and the surrounding watershed through preservation, restoration, research, information exchange and education with particular emphasis on the Research Reserve. The approximately 1700acre Reserve hosts programs that promote education, research, and conservation in Elkhorn Slough. The award winning visitor center has exhibits and is a trailhead for five miles (8 km) of trails that meander through oak woodlands, calm tidal creeks, and freshwater marshes. It is also a popular spot for kayaking and birding.The Reserve's visitor center is located at 1700 Elkhorn Road, Watsonville, CA 95076.
Make Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve a centerpiece of your Moss Landing vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Moss Landing trip itinerary site .
Source
Create an itinerary including Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
map
Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
227 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • It is great place to see birds, one hour drive from Bay Area. Trekking is easy takes close to 2 hr. ..  more »
  • We were surprised to see lots of otters, relaxing on their backs and sea lions. Also pelicans and wading birds. Good place for nature watching.  more »
  • I took the train from San Jose to Santa Barbara. As part of the train trip, one gets to see the Elkhorn Slough area. I saw lots of birds. One can also watch for sea animals in the area such as sea lio...  more »
Google
  • Elkhorn Slough is a really excellent place to hike and see wildlife. There are not a ton of trails buts it's not very busy. The trails are fairly flat and maintained but you can see estuary, oak forest and eucalyptus forest all in one place. There is a large variety of birds in the area including quail and even turkeys! Definitely recommend visiting if you like easy hikes with lots of great visuals.
  • We had a great time on the trails here. Beautiful views! On the pier we got to see a jelly fish. We went over the bridge and on the way back the water was about covering that bridge... but the kids had a great time walking through the water. Lots of sites to see. Nice folks that work there. We will be back.
  • A very interesting little nature stop. Some great displays of the natural history of the area. No dogs allowed. Great hike trails.
  • Great little visitor's center which is free to get into. My kids could easily spend an hour in there playing with the interactive displays. There's a lovely little gift shop as well. Outside is one of the best trails in North Monterey County. The entrance fee, for 16years and older I think, is reasonable and helps with upkeep. There is no other area that provides the access to the water that this place does. I always see something beautiful and interesting. If you're a runner you can get in about four miles by running the outside loops. Loses a star as they take card only. Last time I had cash and they wouldn't accept it which was quite annoying.
  • One of the largest preserves in California. Equal to Bolsa Chico and Newport Back Bay. An expansive view, and kayaking is nearby. Moss's Landing is near, and so is one of the best dining experiences in Monterey County, Phil's Fish Market and Resturant.
Places to stay near Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

Plan your trip to Moss Landing

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans to Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve by other users

35 days in Carmel BY A USER FROM BRAZIL June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 43 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM ITALY April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Rockford & Danville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Sur BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Big Sur BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in San Francisco, Monterey & Chicago BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS September, outdoors, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Santa Cruz BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Big Sur BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in San Francisco, Yosemite National Park & Big Sur BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 37 days in San Francisco BY A USER FROM INDIA June, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans