Picnic at White Gulch: We will paddle toward Hog Island for a glimpse of harbor seals, resting waterfowl and shore birds. Once to the western shore, we will paddle into White Gulch, keeping an eye out for Tule elk, bat rays, and leopard sharks. Floating passed the white sandstone cliffs, we will continue northward along the shore, selecting a beach for a picnic lunch. Tuck your toes in the sand as we enjoy delicious fare, picnic style: appetizers, main course, and dessert. The picnic tour is an additional two hours, giving us more time in the kayaks, allowing us to explore further northward in Tomales Bay.
White Gulch and the Tule Elk
White Gulch, named for its beautiful cliffs of Laird’s sandstone, is the best place for spotting Tule elk. This quiet little inlet was once home to Miwok Indians, and at the turn of the century was a thriving fishing village bristling with wharves and shanties. All that remains today are the ruins of a small building and dock. Nature has taken back this beautiful area and created a perfect grassland habitat for Tule elk.
For thousands of years Tule elk roamed the peninsula freely and in great numbers, but hunting and ranching decimated them completely by the mid 1800s. In 1979 the Point Reyes National Seashore reintroduced a small herd of 8 cows and 2 bulls, creating the Tomales Point Tule Elk reserve of 2600 acres at the tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula. This reintroduction has been so successful that the herd now numbers over 400 head.
The Tule elk herd of Tomales Point is an exceptional attraction of White’s Gulch, but certainly not the only one. Egrets and heron roost in the trees on the cove’s northern hillside. The shoreline waters are forested with eelgrass and marine algae, creating the perfect environment for spotting bat rays, harbor seals, waterfowl and even an occasional river otter. Paddling along the coastline, we experience this extraordinary area and its inhabitants at a relaxing and enjoyable pace.
Preparing for Your Trip
The success of any journey is often based on well prepared participants. The most important contribution you can make is to arrive on time prepared and eager to enjoy the trip. When getting ready for your trip please double check that you understand the directions and allow yourself plenty of travel time. It is very important to be appropriately dressed to insure your comfort and enjoyment.
Please study and follow the Clothing Recommendations provided.
To complement this exceptional adventure, PRO provides a wonderfully catered meal prepared locally using organically grown produce, baked breads, local cheeses and delightful desserts. We are excited and honored to incorporate the local flavors of Point Reyes into our tours. Please let us know if you have special dietary needs.
PRO takes pride in the quality and skill level of your guides. Impeccably trained, they bring a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to each trip. With expertise in group facilitation, natural history, wilderness first aid, and specialized kayak instruction, your guides are ready to provide you with a safe, relaxing and enjoyable experience. As a trip’s success and safety depends on their judgment, we ask that you respect and support their decisions.
Terms and Payment
Point Reyes Outdoors, LLC reserves the right to change an itinerary or cancel any trip due to: weather, acts of god, inadequate sign up, or any unforeseen problems that would make the trip unsafe for its participants. In such cases clients will be offered either credit toward a future trip or a full refund.
PRO has a six day client cancellation policy on all trips and classes. There are no exceptions to this policy. We accept Visa and Master Card, cash or checks. Gratuities are not included in the cost of the trip and there is no obligation to tip your guides but many people do. The industry standard is in the range of 10%; any amount will be greatly appreciated.