Have you been to Elkhorn Slough? This peaceful reserve is full of beauty and wildlife, plus you can choose how to explore, via waterways or on-foot on the 5 miles of trails. Check out these inspiring photos taken at this natural wonder and plan your own visit to Elkhorn Slough!
Probably the most photographed of adventures at Elkhorn Slough, visitors love to take to the water and experience the slough life by kayak. Otters, seals, loads of birds, jellyfish, and more can be spotted in and around the waters. Sunrise, foggy morning, sunny day or sunset paddles, the Slough is never short on photo ops – just be sure to check your kayak for sleepy otters before you hop in!
There are two main locations to launch your kayak or boat at Elkhorn Slough: Kirby Park and Moss Landing Harbor District Launch Ramp. Kayak rentals and tours are available in the Moss Landing Harbor with Kayak Connection. And although not physically located in the Moss Landing Harbor, rentals and awesome tours can also be arranged with Venture Quest.
Those 5 miles of hiking trails meander through a variety of habitats from oak woodlands to grasslands to mudflats. The Moss Landing Wildlife area has a great little trail that runs beside the main channel of the slough and is a perfect spot for on-foot wildlife watching. Sea otters, harbor seals, and migrating birds are regular sightings.
There is a Slough-side boardwalk that is wheelchair and stroller accessible at Kirby Park. Click here for a map of all the trails available.
WILDLIFE & PHOTOGRAPHY
Amateur or professional photographer, birding guru or simple animal lover, Elkhorn Slough is sure to please. Bird watchers can spot a number of fowl including the white-tailed kite, red-shouldered hawk, barn owl, chestnut-backed chickadee, swallow, oak titmouse, acorn woodpecker, great egrets, great blue herons, double-crested cormorants, and on some occasions, bald eagles! Adorable seals and otters are easy to spot and quite photogenic.
Remember to respect the wildlife and keep your distance. Be sure to look at this guide to low-impact paddling and this handy kayak map that points out legal access points. And lastly, feel free to check in on the otters now with this live OtterCam!
Updated: January 2020