Shaped like an elk’s antler, this arm of Monterey Bay harbors resident sea otters as well as migratory seals and brown pelicans that can be seen in summer. Elkhorn can be appreciated by trail or by kayak.
Elkhorn Slough, in northern Monterey County, is the largest tidal salt marsh in Californiaoutside San Francisco Bay, and it provides habitat for dozens of species ofbirds, fish, and marine invertebrates. The upland areas of the reserveencompass freshwater wetlands, coastal prairie, and maritime chapparal.Designated a Globally Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, thereserve offers great birdwatching either from the seat of a kayak or from theuplands that edge the slough. Five miles of hiking trails lead through oakwoodlands and along tidal creeks and freshwater marshes. Volunteers lead publictours on weekends, and the visitor center has award-winning exhibits on life inthe reserve.