Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Moss Landing

4.7
#4 of 15 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.
The 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 .
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Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
256 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • After my Elkhorn Slough Safari Tour had been cancelled because of a powerful storm that came into the area and caused power outages in Carmel where I was staying, I ventured out to Moss Landing. I ate...  more »
  • We were welcomed and given a good description of options and what to see. They have tours which we did not use. Not near as crowded as other locations in the area. We walked down to a hide and had it ...  more »
Google
  • Lots of birds! I went last summer around June and we saw lots of marine birds, as well as a whole family of acorn woodpeckers! The barn has owl boxes too. It is super scenic, there are miles and miles of trails. Good for an afternoon of birding!
  • One of the best natural reserve we had been so far. There are so many birds to watch. The people in the office are nice and knowledge. The guided tour is great. The visitors are mostly elderly and are also so nice. There are lots of parking. It is mostly open space with lots of sunlight. A small section of the trail through the wood is shaded. We spent about 3 hours and still not fully finish all parts. On our visit, one of the bridge was under the water during low tide. We went to the hummingbird island and I forgot that I am still on planet earth.

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