Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

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Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

The Tomales Point trail at Point Reyes National Seashore is one of my favorite trails in the Bay Area. It’s a moderate 9.4 miler out in the tippity top of Point Reyes. The drive from the Bay Area is kind of a pain. The weather can be unpredictable–it’s one of the windiest spots on the west coast–but when you’re out there, the annoyances disappear.

Read on to see why.


Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Ancestral homeland of the Tomales Bay Miwok, Tomales Point is a little strip of land that pokes north into the Pacific Ocean on the rugged California coastline. Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and Tomales Bay, you’re rewarded with spectacular views.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

The trail begins at the Pierce Point Ranch, a historic ranch from the dairy ranching days on the peninsula. From there, it is an out and back to Tomales Point.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

It’s 9.4ish miles, but the trail goes by quick. The California coastline is beautiful, and this area is ripe with wildlife. The last time I was here, we saw 30+ tule elk and two coyotes.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Point is also home to a subspecies of elk, tule elk, found only in California. The elk are always out and about and it is rare to have a trip where you don’t run into at least one.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

The trail is moderately graded and well maintained for the first 4 miles. Once hikers reach the site of the old ranch, indicated by a eucalyptus tree and some cypress, the trail becomes unmaintained and very sandy.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

However, this trail is very well-traveled and the unmaintained section is no problem. The only way to go is north.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Once you’ve had your fill of the top of Tomales Point, retrace your steps south to the car.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

In the spring and summer, the wildflowers bloom in full force all along the Tomales Point Trail. I highly recommend wearing long pants, lest you adore ticks, pokey branches and things of the like.

Tips for Hiking Tomales Point

  • The closest pit toilet is at the McClure’s Beach trailhead. Be good at peeing. Also be good at not caring if people see you.
  • There’s no water at this trailhead, so plan accordingly.
  • Once you can see Tomales Bay, there’s really good cell service. Perfect if you need to be in range while you’re hiking for whatever reason.
  • Dogs are not allowed on this trail.

For other Point Reyes hikes, check out Alamere Falls, Arch Rock, Coast Camp, Glen Camp or the Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Hiking Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

 

4 comments

  1. So many great places to hike out there. And tule elk, I never knew.

  2. So awesome!!! Love the last photo!

  3. Gorgeous! I am a little surprised at how many wildflowers there still are given that it’s early summer of a dry year—I thought they’d be gone by now.

    1. I know, right? I was super duper surprised when I started the hike and there were just flowers on flowers and flowers everywhere. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

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