2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures
From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »
2014 Winter Shuttle Bus Operations Have Ended
March 30, 2014, was the last day for the 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus System. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is open daily from now through late December 2014. More »
Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »
Park Wavelengths - April 2013
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
On stage next week is the Lyrid meteor shower, which rewards early morning risers as it peaks Monday morning April 22! The Lyrids are the oldest recorded shower with records in China dating back to 687 BC. The full moon rises April 25 with several minus tides in the mornings of subsequent days:
More and more wildflowers are making their appearance. Brilliant purple Sky Lupine, a short annual flower, spreads across the pastures behind the Bear Valley Visitor Center, contrasting with bright orange poppies. The perennial yellow bush lupine--a bush with yellow flowers--has begun to bloom at the Lighthouse and Tomales Point, adding fragrance the air on still, warm days.
Beginning May 1, the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach will be closed except during the shuttle bus season. The Lighthouse Visitor Center and the stairs leading down to the Lighthouse will be open Friday through Monday; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays (the parking area and observation deck are open Tuesdays through Thursdays). The Bear Valley Visitor Center will be open 10 am to 5 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.
Recent windstorms brought down trees on the Morgan Horse Ranch Trail, which is closed. A large tree is down on Mt. Wittenberg Trail and horses are not able to get through on that trail.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Subject: Park Wavelengths - Electronics recycling at Bear Valley - April 22
On April 22, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, from 10 am to 2 pm, an electronic recycling event will be held. The following items will be accepted:
No early drop offs! All e-waste will be taken to Renew Computers in San Rafael. For more information contact Dale Dualan at 415-464-5286 or 663-8522 x5286.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The new moon arrives next week with moderately high tides mid-day. Beach walking whale watchers should be sure not to turn their backs on the ocean. The back dunes at Limantour and along the Great Beach give plenty of distance from the water and a bit of height to watch for the tail end of the whale migration north. Gray whale tend to stay a little closer to shore on the return trip north. Whale sightings are improving with the sunny weather last Saturday!
The first tule elk calf of the year greeted the spring equinox in late March and is up and around following it's mom! Harbor seal pups are being monitored throughout the park. Instinct may spur a desire to pick up spring babes, but remember not to approach seals or elk; the parent(s) are usually foraging nearby and will return once they've fed themselves.
April showering launches purple flowering shrubs California lilac (Ceanothus sp.) and red elderberry, (with yellow spikes) along much of Sir Francis Drake through Inverness. In shaded areas, pale pink Dutchman's breeches are joining milkmaids as the wildflower season gets underway. Plenty of Douglas iris in the usual areas like the head of the Estero Trail; poppies are appearing in sunny spots.
The shuttle season ended for the season last weekend [March 31]; the road to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas will be open on weekends [and weekdays] until December 2013.
Did You Know?
In addition to raising sea levels and temperatures, the increased concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is changing ocean chemistry by reducing the pH of the ocean. This decreased pH reduces the availability of minerals which marine organisms use to build shells and reef structures. More...