Not much wildlife is seen in bay area hikes. Deer are occasionally spotted. Cows are common in spring and summer on lands where grazing is allowed. On rare occasions, coyotes, rattlesnakes and bobcats may be sighted. Birds abound in forested areas and marshlands. Two hikes are focused on wildlife: tule elk in Point Reyes and elephant seals in Año Nuevo. Also see Low Tide Hikes for seeing marine life in tidepools in low tide conditions. Hikes focused on birds include Palo Alto Baylands.
Tomales Point in Point Reyes is famous for tule elk which number in the hundreds and occupy the northern sections of Point Reyes. The hike offers fantastic ocean views and plenty of wildflowers as well. Quite windy throughout the year.
The route goes adjacent to water bodies and marshlands where thousands of birds thrive. For optimal experience, start your walk fifteen minutes before sunrise or a half hour before sunset. Bright colors in the sky get reflected in water during these times. Plus, birds are either sleeping or just getting up.