Trails in Northern California

Trails in Northern California

Leave No Trace!

Visit for more information about Desolation Wilderness. Visit or call 1- 877-444-6777 to make park reservations. Visit Campfire Permits to get a permit online. More about Leave No Trace principles.

April 08, 2013

Grizzly Island Wildlife Area

We saw numerous small groups of tule elk, beaver, otter, and signs of coyote, raccoon, and other wildlife, including a variety of birds. 

 This reserve is not too far from Fairfield. A map is provided to help you manage driving directions.

This reserve has hunting seasons for waterfowl, pheasant, Jr pheasant hunts, rabbit, tule elk, doves and falconry.

  The headquarters is open Monday - Friday 8-4:30, offering free literature and has a large mounted bird collection.  When the center is closed you can enjoy the outdoor kiosks for information.  Self-guided tours begin at the headquarters, taking the unpaved Grizzly Island Road for 7 miles and stopping at parking and walking or viewing areas.

Cormorants, when they swim you only see their head and neck.  Their bodies are submerged!
Grizzly Island has 8600 acres in the heart of the Suisun Marsh, the largest contiguous estuarian marsh, comprised of 84,000 acres, and where over 200 species of birds and a variety of endangered or threatened wildlife and plant species live.
Tule Elk tracks

Courtesy of Google Maps

The acreage is full of endemic species that can only live here.  Many are endangered

and protected. 

The pickle weed is the habitat element the harvest mouse
cannot live without.  It nests there and the plants have adapted to salty marsh
by pulling in lots of water, then sending the salt to the tips of their leaves.  In the fall they turn reddish colored and drop off, taking the salty residue with them. 

Wild things!

Otters like this type of area and left tracks and scat (poop).

In the distance you see the huge windmills.

Taking a trail guide book to help you and the kids determine what left the tracks makes a fun discovery adventure.  The tracks are often fresh, so it is likely you'll have the joy of viewing critters.

Animal Tracks

Animal Tracks

You can park and walk back into these areas along gated dirt roads.  Watch out for ticks though!

Animal Tracks

Animal Tracks

People like to fish in this area.  Bring the kids and the poles!

Probably raccoon tracks.  We also found rabbit, beaver, coyote, bobcat, otter and elk prints.

  Using binoculars, going for drives and taking short hikes feel like you have gone back in time.  The views are beautiful.  Kids will love all of the tracks they can find, and if you don't see wildlife, go slower!  The weather is cooler than the Sacramento Valley, and warmer than the beach.

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