• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Coastal Grassland

rolling coastal grasslands at sunrise
 

The grasslands you see driving to the lighthouse and up to the Tule Elk Preserve are made up of remnant patches of coastal prairie and agricultural ranchlands. Cattle have grazed these areas since the 1830’s. Rolling pasturelands are made up of non-native annual grasses and clovers. Today, remnant coastal prairie patches are made up of perennial bunchgrasses like purple needle grass, California fescue and California oatgrass. Elk and antelope used to roam these grasslands, grazing as they wandered. Summers fogs maintain perennial coastal prairie species year-round. Learn more about how the park plans to restore the native coast prairie.

Springtime in the Seashore’s grasslands brings an abundance of common and rare wildflowers. Early in the spring Douglas iris and another much smaller iris, blue-eyed grass, start blooming. Yellow California poppies are everywhere.

Learn more about the Fire Ecology of Coastal Grasslands.

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Did You Know?

Bull elephant seal with harbor seals

Elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris)are the largest pinniped with males reaching a maximum of about 5,000 lbs. Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are much smaller with both males and females reaching a maximum weight of around 250 lbs. More...