The Visitor Center lies at the heart of the Reserve’s programs and is a starting point for any outing out at the Elkhorn Slough Reserve. It features outstanding educational exhibits that invite visitors of all ages to take a closer look at the unseen world of the Slough. The Center is staffed by knowledgeable naturalists who are happy to answer your questions.
The Reserve and Visitor Center are open Wednesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission is free to the Visitor Center, restrooms and picnic area. To walk the trails there is a $4.12 day-use fee (credit cards only) for adults 16 and older; children are free; entry is also free with a California hunting or fishing license. An annual CDFW Lands pass is available for $22.92.
The Visitor Center staff can loan binoculars or bird books to you at no charge.
Directions to the ESNERR Visitor Center
Highway 1 heading north or south from Santa Cruz or Monterey Simple route via Dolan Road, near power plant. Take Highway 1 to Moss Landing; at the power plant, turn east onto Dolan Road; go 3.5 miles on Dolan Road, turn left onto Elkhorn Road; go 1.9 miles on Elkhorn Road, turn left into the Reserve gate.
Highway 1 heading south from Santa Cruz Alternate route via Salinas Rd. Take Highway 1 south to Salinas Road and turn left; take Salinas Road past the golf course and veer right onto Werner Road; drive to the bottom of the hill and turn right onto Elkhorn Road; go 0.25 miles, turn right onto (again) Elkhorn Road; go 5 miles on Elkhorn Road and enjoy great views of the North Marsh; turn right into the Reserve gate.
Highway 101 heading north from Salinas From Highway 101 north, after the 156 West exit, take the San Miguel Canyon Road exit go 0.7 miles and turn left onto Castroville Boulevard; go 2.9 miles on Castroville Boulevard and turn right onto Elkhorn Road; go 1.9 miles on Elkhorn Road and turn left into the Reserve gate.
Highway 101 heading south from San Jose From Highway 101 south: 2 miles past the 156 East exit, turn right onto San Juan Road; go 2.3 miles on San Juan Road, turn left onto Tarpey Road, which becomes Hall Road; go 4.5 miles, through Las Lomas, and turn left onto Elkhorn Road; go 5 miles on Elkhorn Road and enjoy great views of the North Marsh; turn right into the Reserve gate.