San Luis Wildlife Refuge

Lunchtime, I was only looking for any place to stop and eat after being on the road for a long time. I took an exit, and happened to see a brown sign. I didn’t have much time to burn, but I still decided to follow the brown sign and eat there the sub I made the night before. Got to the visitor center, where they have a mini exhibit, and ahoy! there I found out that entering the refuge is free of charge. Cool! I really chanced upon an awesome place to park, eat and relax.


I drove their Auto Route Tour. That is, you just casually drive around and appreciate the refuge in all its glory through your car window.






I needed to go back on the road so due to time restriction, I didn’t really have ample enough time to absorb the wildlife part of San Luis Wildlife Refuge. My timing wasn’t so good either. They said November to February is the best time.

I did see the tule elks, a subspecies of elks that can only be found in California. Ha!


… Although, they’re too far for me to take a good picture. It is recommended to bring binoculars if you do come here.


The marshes are cool because of the ballets of different birds that are hanging out.



It would be nice to spend more hours here, as visitors should, but I needed to go back on the road.


It was an awesome “rest stop” for me.

Last Call…


Perhaps, I should say, to not always hesitate and sometimes follow a random brown sign on the road. 😉

Care to share one of your “rest stop”?

San Luis Wildlife Refuge website

Categories: California, Nature

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45 replies »

    • I eat at vista points too. 😀 I always prefer California 1 over the main highway. It’s winding, but so much bellisima than the highway.

    • I don’t know. When I googled this place and looked at the images, the bare trees are the same as what I’ve shown here. But it was quite sunny when I was there. California is drying so I wouldn’t doubt if that really is the case. They said that this place is good for birding. I just didn’t have time for it, nor the expertise you have ;).

  1. I love your ‘ballet of birds’ you could write haiku Rommel! This looks like a lovely stop but why do you have to drive around the place? Is it dangerous? It looks like good walking to me.

    • The website says there’s mountain lion. But they do have a walking nature trail, which I didn’t have the time to do. It supposed to be ‘ballet of swans’ but there are flying birds as well so I just put ballet of birds. I do not understand most haiku, to be honest. 😀

  2. Just love the second pic down – the wonderful twisty tree with the huge balls of mistletoe growing in the top branches!

  3. Wow, for California I thought that your deciduous trees would have a lot more leaves on them by now. Because of the harsh winter, leaf bearing was severely delayed for most vegetation in my neck of the woods but we’re quite green now.

    I can see that it is still a beautiful refuge. It sort of reminds me of the African Lion’s Safari in my area.

    Those tufts in the trees of the second shot; are they nests?

  4. Absolutely love Hwy 1. Looks like a great spot to watch the wildlife. We try to stop at as many wildlife refuges in our travels as possible.

  5. What a wonderful place to stop for lunch! Even if you didn’t intend to spend the day there, you still got some very nice photos of the refuge 🙂 I feel bad for those trees filled with mistletoe in the 2nd picture. It’s technically a parasite and, over time, can kill the trees. Nothing Christmas-y about that, eh?

  6. what an unexpected lunch area and you got to see the elk. that’s cool! and it came without an admission charge – even better. 🙂

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