Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Beautiful Wildflowers at Chimney Rock

We've had a fair amount of rain this winter, which means wildflowers should be abundant this spring.  For the past month or so wine country has been full of bright yellow mustard flowers.

My favorite spot to view wildflowers is Chimney Rock in Point Reyes National Seashore, about 2 hours north of San Francisco.  Here you can see California Poppies, Indian Paintbrush, Douglas' Iris, California Buttercup, Sky Lupine, and dozens of other flowers.

(Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

In addition to seeing multicolored fields of flowers, a walk along the bluffs near Chimney Rock will reward you with views of the Pacific as well as Drakes Bay.  You might also see hundreds of elephant seals on the beaches below the cliffs.

Chimney Rock lies on the south end of Point Reyes.  On the north end you can visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse, which is open daily except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Be prepared to walk down, and then up, 308 stairs to reach the lighthouse.  This is a good spot to look for migrating gray whales.

The best months for viewing wildflowers are usually April and May.  Elephant seals breed from December through March.  Gray whales pass by on their migration between Alaska and Baja California from January through April.

The only way to get to Chimney Rock and Point Reyes Lighthouse is by car.  On weekends through mid-April, you'll need to park at the Drakes Beach parking lot and then take a shuttle bus to Chimney Rock and/or the Point Reyes Lighthouse.  Don't want to drive.  Let Blue Heron Custom Tours and Traveltake you on a private tour of Point Reyes and West Marin County.  For more information, please phone me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me at Rick@BlueHeronTours.com

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