9:00am to Sunset
Tule Elk State Natural Reserve
Here are some guidelines for people visiting Tule Elk SNR:
What is open now?
- Trails, beaches and day use areas.
- Parking may be limited.
What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
At this park:
- Visitor Centers
- Picnic Areas
- Congregate and high touch areas
- High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
- Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.
Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, please see below:
- Stay Local: Stay close to home. Walk or bike into the park. Parking may be limited. Do not take road trips to parks and beaches or to neighboring states.
- Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails.
- Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
- Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
- Stay Covered: Please be sure to wear face coverings when you cannot maintain a safe 6-foot distance from others.
Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors. For more information, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
The Tule Elk State Natural Reserve protects a small herd of tule elk, once in danger of extinction. In the 1800s, the vast herds of tule elk were greatly reduced in number by hunting and loss of habitat.
In 1874, cattleman Henry Miller began efforts to save them. At that time few tule elk remained. In 1932, the herd was given permanent protection on the land now known as the Tule Elk State Natural Reserve.
Elk from the reserve have been successfully transplanted to other areas in California. Today nearly 4,000 tule elk are again roaming the foothills and grasslands of California.
The tule elk are most active from late summer through early autumn. Visitors are encouraged to bring binoculars for better viewing.
The park has a picnic area that offers an excellent opportunity to observe birds of the San Joaquin Valley. Interpretive exhibits may be viewed to the south and east of the comfort station.
Tule Elk YouTube Video
The reserve is 20 miles west of Bakersfield off of Stockdale Highway west of I-5, in the vicinity of Buttonwillow.
The weather can be changeable; Extreme heat during summer months, cold foggy winter weather.
layered clothing is recommended.