Please park perpendicular to the road where possible. The views are so worth it! Be extremely cautious with gett... Kayak Beautiful Tomales bay and experience the bioluminescence ecology of the bay. The Tomales Bay trail is on the east side of the bay. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. Tomales Point is the North-Western tip of Point Reyes Peninsula. Cell phone reception is very minimal to nonexistent in the Tomales Point area. Tomales Point lies at the northernmost tip of Point Reyes National Seashore where the Pacific Ocean meets Bodega Bay. From the Bear Valley Visitor Center, drive northwest ~2 miles (~3 km) on Bear Valley Road before turning left on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Wildlife (we saw elk and a wolf), breathtaking cliffs, beautiful trees, and the impressive ocean. Continuing north on the trail, one begins to ascend along the ridge crest to the highest location along the trail, located approximately 2.25 miles (3.6 km) from the trailhead. nannodes). As other reviewers stated, the seashore and the Tomales Bay views are stunning, and seeing dozens of elks grazing … This is an opportune section of the trail to be on for sunset (so long as fog doesn't obscure the view). We also felt very accomplished! Ten elk (eight females and two males) were transplanted from an existing reintroduced herd in the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge near Los Baños to a 2,600-acre fenced enclosure on Tomales Point in 1978. This open trail offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. Bring a water bottle. The Tomales Point Trail travels along the ridgeline towards the northernmost tip of the peninsula offering amazing views of the Pacific coastline and down into Tomales Bay. Year-round you can hike in from the parking area trailhead at Pierce Point Ranch and see a herd of elk from the trail, usually guarded … A short, moderately steep 0.4-mile (0.6 km) hike leads down to a beautiful beach in a small cove with intense surf that is surrounded by rocky cliffs. Horses are also able to use this trail. To get to McClures Beach, turn left just before entering the ranch parking lot and descend the hill 0.2 miles (0.3 km) to the McClures Beach parking lot. • TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. There are no potable sources of water at Tomales Point. The first three miles of this trail are maintained and follows the route of an old ranch road as it travels along the crest of the ridge. Be sure to use the restrooms before heading out on area trails. Please visit our Viewing Tule Elk page for elk watching tips and our Tule Elk page for more information about this species. From the parking lot at the Tomales Point Trailhead, walk to the left of the historic Pierce Point Ranch, which offers a glimpse into the early dairy ranching days on the Peninsula.. Continue straight, in a general northern direction, on the same trail for 7.6 km until the trail dead ends at Tomales Point. Along the trail, you'll have great opportunities to see tule elk. It was well worth the effort! This iconic trail runs along dramatic coastal bluffs and through the Tule Elk Preserve en route to its climactic end atop the Seashore's wave-battered cusp. Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on any of the beaches or trails at Tomales Bay State Park. The Tomales Point Trail runs along coastal bluffs, up the peninsula's spine, and through the Tule Elk Preserve en route to its climactic finish on the Seashore's wave-battered cusp. But, if you are willing to proceed, you will soon arrive at a stock pond at the site of the Lower Pierce Point Ranch. ), or speak with a ranger. Wear layered clothing. In places, it can be challenging to recognize which path to follow among the bush lupine, but the myriad paths tend to reconnect and ultimately merge into one path along the last half mile (0.8 km) of the "trail.". Pierce Point Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and was subsequently opened to the public as an interpretive site. Stunning Views And Wildlife, Though Prepare For Hiking In Sand For Longer Than You Want To. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. Plus, more Elk! A telephone in the lower parking lot is accessible. Thank you to the visitor that reported this collapse. However, these "social paths" tend to exacerbate erosion and harm threatened and endangered species. As an example of how sea cliffs are hazardous, in January 2017, part of the bluff at the northern end of Tomales Point collapsed. While referenced in many books and websites as a good location to find tidepools, tidepoolers have lost their lives here when sneaker waves have struck them. Loose soil and/or rock can give way suddenly and you may fall. It is long (I was wearing older hiking boots and felt it in my feet), but so worth it! If you plan on hiking to Tomales Point, be aware that additional sections of the cliff may collapse. Restrooms are available at the McClures Beach parking lot from 6 am to midnight. Panels have ADA-compliant fonts. On a clear day, this makes for spectacular views. Please reduce the chance of disturbing the elk by staying on the official trail. Did it on 12/24 and had an incredible time. Tule elk once inhabited the grasslands of the Point Reyes peninsula and the Olema Valley, as well as other grasslands within Marin County. Bear Valley Trail. Be aware of your surroundings and stay back from the edge. Since then, the herd has grown and numbers ~300 in 2017. After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. Dogs are allowed only at the Vista Point picnic area and must be on leash at all times. This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc. One can catch the sun setting "into" the ocean and still have enough twilight to walk back to one's vehicle before dark. Visitors are welcome to walk through the ranch complex, where interpretive signs describe the history and function of the various buildings. Over time, as more and more visitors use a route, it starts to look more and more like an official trail, and more and more visitors use it, resulting in a feedback loop that makes the "trail" look "official." Beyond this "peak", the trail descends rather steeply over the next 0.75 miles (1.2 km). Updates will be posted to our Current Conditions page and social media channels. Turn around here if you desire a 6-mile (10 km) round-trip hike. From the trailhead off CA Highway 1, the Tomales Bay trail starts off on a mellow downhill through open coastal plains. Don't confuse this worthwhile out-and-back trail with the better known and more crowded Tomales Point Trail. Farther on you get to see elk. You can help park staff better protect park visitors by contacting the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5, by contacting the park's Dispatch at 415-464-5170, or by sending us an email if you find anything that looks hazardous in the park. Tomales Point Trail There is a reason Tomales Point Trail is popular. The Tule Elk is a subspecies of elk found only in California. Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information. The vast majority of the Tomales Point Trail is open as you hike across the rolling hills. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Tomales Point Trail. Allow one hour and thirty-five minutes for the drive (three hours and ten minutes round-trip) from the Santa Rosa area, northwest San Francisco, or the northern East Bay. This area can only be safely accessed during the outgoing low tide. They are prone to crumbling and sliding, especially in wet weather. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Directions: From Inverness, follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard north. Point Reyes Station, CA Surrounded by water on three sides for the length of the trail, it feels like walking nature’s plank—but in a good way. Many of the cliffs around Point Reyes are unstable and prone to collapse. The Tomales Point Trail traces the ridge of the Point Reyes Peninsula, a narrow strip of land dividing Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Limantour Spit Trail. If you like beaches, headlands, scenic landscapes, wildflowers, and tons of wildlife viewing, you should give this hike a try. 3 Tomales Point Trail, Marin County Want to feel like you’re traveling to the top of the world? Bring food from home or purchase food at one of the. The dairy products were shipped to San Francisco from a dock in Tomales Bay. adventures and follow local regulations. 94956. At the one-mile (1.6-km) mark is Windy Gap at the head of White Gulch. Parking is very limited, particularly in the afternoon. After driving another 5.6 miles (9 km), turn right at the Y signed for "Tomales Bay State Park" and "Pierce Point Ranch." However, it's worth mentioning that Tomales Point is stunning. The drive to the Tomales Point Trailhead is a winding road up and down hills, sometimes scenic and generally slow because of all of the tight turns. If you don't want to sweat much on the return hike, turn around here. In recognition of its importance, it was written up in 1878 and again in 1880 as an outstanding example of a dairy ranch. The historic Pierce Point Ranch offers a glimpse into the early dairy ranching days on the peninsula. The Tomales Point Trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Bodega Bay, and Tomales Bay as one potentially hikes 9.4 miles (15 km) round-trip to the northern end of the Peninsula. The tule elk seem to be accustomed to visitors walking along the Tomales Point Trail, but tend to react negatively to visitors they encounter off-trail. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. The views were absolutely incredible! The first mile of the trail is fairly level and broad, with views looking west over the Pacific Ocean. You may wish to fill your water bottles at the water bottle filling station/water fountain located inside of the, There are no food services west of Inverness, which is a twenty-five-minute drive from the Tomales Point Trailhead parking lot. Tomales Point Trail - 9.5 Miles Round-Trip Tomales Point caps the northernmost tip of Point Reyes National Seashore where the Pacific Ocean meets Bodega Bay. Please observe all "No Parking" signs. There were many black cormorants hanging out and nesting, and the probably inaccessible hidden beaches were cool to behold. The region is home to a tule elk population.. Gallery It is also a prime wildlife viewing trail, as it is remote and the tule elk are enclosed in this reserve. The trail climbs up onto a wide, flat ridge. Tomales Point Trail, a 4.7 mile out-and-back route, is the only long distance option here, but you could also walk from the trailhead to McClures Beach, an under 1 mile round trip, or cut short a Tomales Point Trail hike wherever you choose along the way. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. It was about an hour outside of the city and 100% worth the drive. The trailhead at Tomales Point is reached by Pierce Point Road, forking north off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near the high point of Inverness Ridge, descending into pastoral land on the west side of the peninsula, and passing through five historic (though still active) cattle ranches, designated M, H, I, K and J, before ending beside the white-painted, weather-worn buildings from a sixth - Pierce Point Ranch. Please help do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus by staying close to home; if you do visit Point Reyes, please maintain at least six feet of physical distance. There are many sensitive elk habitats along the way, so it is always a good idea to stay on trail. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, to reintroduce the extirpated tule elk to Tomales Point. The trail descends into the wide, shallow valley where the Lower Pierce Ranch used to be located. On Saturday, Anna, her husband Paul and I drove out to Tomales Bay to hike the Tomales Point Trail. The only official trails in the Tomales Point area are the Tomales Point Trail and McClures Beach Trail, shown in the map to the right (or above, if you are viewing this page on a small screen). Would be quite hot during summer as there's not much shade, especially towards the end. Historic features include the main house, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, barns, dairy houses, and many other structures. Once you arrive at the trailhead go first to the McClure Beach parking area (only 1/4 mile down the road) to access the toilets … Many visitors spend at least an hour or two in the Tomales Point area. ), or speak with a ranger. A flat trail provides access to a self-guided tour of the ranch complex. Although it only takes about an hour to complete the out-and-back, the vibe surrounding this area is just begging you to... Just north of San Francisco, there's a row of giant Monterey cypress trees that forms a “tree tunnel”. Please respect the privacy of the residents. A pay phone is available at the Tomales Point Trailhead parking lot. Long (nearly 10 mi round trip) but relatively easy hike along costal cliffs and through an Elk Preserve. An excellent out and back day hike. There were lots of people taking those flower photos here. The Tomales Bay Trail is a hiking route that provides access to the part of Tomales Bay where the salt water mixes with freshwater from Lagunitas Creek. Got here at 9am and there weren't many people on the way out, but more on the way back. 1 Bear Valley Road The main attraction of this trail is the abundant Tule Elk (Cervus canadensis ssp. Tomales point trail is on the road to McClures beach. Tomales Point is surrounded by water on three sides – the Pacific Ocean to the west, Tomales Bay to the east, and Bodega Bay to the north. Visitors may experience stiff winds, cool temperatures, fog, and/or rain at Tomales Point; so dress appropriately. After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. It does feel like the end of the world in the best way. The Tomales Point Trail descends to Windy Gap. Follow Pierce Point Road 9 miles (14.5 km) to the parking lot at Pierce Point Ranch and the Tomales Point Trailhead. Tomales Point is located at the northern-most end of the Point Reyes peninsula. This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc. Overnight parking/camping in RVs and trailers is prohibited throughout Point Reyes National Seashore. There is no sandy beach here, but it is an interesting shoreline that few people see. Would recommend this to anyone with the note that there are seemingly long uphills and sand to deal with so.....Enjoy and take your time! Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Pierce Point Road are windy and slow-going, so allow thirty-five minutes to drive the 16.6 miles (~26.5 km) from the Bear Valley/Olema/Point Reyes Station area to the Tomales Point parking lot (one hour and ten minutes round-trip), not including any time you will spend in the area. Stay away from cliff edges. We saw so many elk and they got even closer to the trail on the way back. I wasn't prepared to hike for a mile or two in sand, which made for a relatively slow and annoying few hours, so if this isn't for you, turn back at the cypress grove. This hike is pretty flat for the most part and it’s a great place to see the beautiful coastline. On our hike out to the point, we were completely socked in by the fog. Be aware that the shoulders along Pierce Point Road are often soft during the winter and spring and vehicles have become stuck in the mud when their owners attempted to park along the road. All the grass dried up over the summer. Discover trails like Tomales Point Trail California, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. The Point Reyes region ranches were, as a group, considered to be the best dairy ranches among the 300 in the state as of 1900, and Pierce Ranch was at the top among the Point Reyes ranches in the quality of its product. If you are traveling with a trailer or are driving an RV towing a passenger vehicle, consider unhitching at the bus/RV/trailer-only parking lot at Bear Valley and taking only the passenger vehicle for the drive out to Tomales Point and other areas of the park. 415-464-5100 If you are hiking anywhere that brings you near cliffs, please be mindful of the hazards. The Tomales Point Trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Bodega Bay, and Tomales Bay as one potentially hikes 9.4 miles (15 km) round-trip to the northern end of the Peninsula. Great trail with stunning views This is one of the best trails north of San Francisco. Similar to the fissure that formed on top of Arch Rock, visitors discovered these hazards before park staff did. Reyes, Tomales Point, where the Tule Elk Preserve is located. Do not climb cliffs. Hiking along the bluff tops can be unsafe and is not recommended. •Uncork your fav... • TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. A Stay at Home (also known as Shelter-In-Place) Order is in place for Marin County until further notice. Throughout the hike, it is not uncommon to see many different types of wildlife, so make sure to leave no trace in their natural environment. This is an awesome hike. The end of the peninsula, Tomales Bluff, is a great place to have a picnic. This region is known for hikes and beaches on Point Reyes Peninsula and the shoreline of Tomales Bay. Tomales Point is a moderate day hike with incredible seaside views, ending at the northern tip of Pt. Individuals engaged in outdoor exercise, such as walking, hiking, running, or bicycling, are not required to wear a face covering, but should carry one with them and must wear a facial covering when interacting with others who are not members of their household in public and private spaces if they cannot practice physical distancing. This beach is really easy to get to. Tomales Point Trail, Point Reyes Station: See 100 reviews, articles, and 213 photos of Tomales Point Trail, ranked No.4 on Tripadvisor among 18 attractions in Point Reyes Station. This mellow trail is an out-and-back, so you can turn around at any point. Among the many ranches of the Point Reyes peninsula and of the nearby Olema Valley, Pierce Ranch is the one with the greatest degree of integrity of early buildings in its physical complex. Don’t needle them or step off the trail and peace shall be maintained. Directions to Tomales Point from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. They were the dominant grazers on these lands until their local extirpation in the 1850s. We were both whooped! Directions to Tomales Point from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Hike out to Tomales Point with stunning views surrounding you on all sides. Please note: The main house currently serves as a residence for park employees. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. This is a good location from which to view elk gathered at a perennial spring in the gulch below. Just follow Pierce Point Road until you see the sign to the beach. If you have yet to see elk, you'll likely see some here. Small cracks are present in the ground, some several feet from the edge. Looking beyond White Gulch, one has a view of Hog Island in Tomales Bay. The hike to Tomales Point is one of the easier trails to follow. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. Beyond the Lower Pierce Point Ranch site, the trail is no longer maintained and becomes sandy. Tomales Point is a Tule Elk preserve. Since we visited in October, the land was pretty brown. 4 reviews of Tomales Bay Trail "For years now I've driven by the Tomales Bay Trailhead and been consistent in remarking that "I want to hike that". This hike has it all! Located in the far northern corner of the Seashore, the Tomales Point Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in the park. Please explore responsibly! They are the smallest of the North American elk. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. Visitors walking off of official trails and paths trample vegetation, which may lead to the death of the trampled plants. Pierce Ranch is probably the least altered, least modernized, physical complex of ranch buildings in the area. As a beginner and a large man (270lbs) I feel it may be more than just a "beginner" trail, although my son (also a large man) and I made the full distance. With wraparound views of Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay and the Pacific, you will be surrounded by nature’s splendor and, most likely, many fellow hikers. Turn right on Pierce Point Road and follow it to the end where you will come to Pierce Point Ranch where the trail begins, which is a total of about 11 miles from Inverness. Bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. I got home and told my son I'd hiked this nothing-burger trail. This hike will take you through the Tule Elk Preserve in Point Reyes Nation Seashore, and offers fantastic views of Bodega and Tomales Bay, as well as the Pacific Ocean. The trail should still be relatively easy to follow, but if you find yourself off-trail, just keep walking towards the end of the peninsula. Established in 1858, Pierce Ranch (aka Pierce Point Ranch) was the largest of four independent ranches on the the Point Reyes peninsula in the late 1800s. If you park along the Pierce Point Road south of the parking lot, ensure that no part of your parked vehicle is on the pavement in order to allow other vehicles to safely pass. In 1976, Congress authorized the creation of the Point Reyes Wilderness (renamed in honor of Phillip Burton in 1985), incorporating the decommissioned cattle ranch as habitat for the reintroduction of tule elk. Reyes. As a result, a section of the Tomales Point Trail is no more. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call. It's an easy hike down from the parking lot. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call. Reyes National Seashore, Remodeled Dillon Beach Haven W/ Hot Tub, Game Room, Charming Farmhouse On Organic Cattle Ranch, Photograph the Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes. The Shafter brothers sold a 2,200-acre tract of land on the end of Tomales Point to Solomon Pierce for $7,000 in 1858. Hike the Tomales Point Trail, Pt. The trail gently meanders over rolling hills for its entirety, with no shortage of views overlooking endless ocean, precipitous coastal cliffs, and what feels like a bird’s eye view over a uni… Visit our Recreate Responsibly page for guidelines for responsible recreation in the outdoors at Point Reyes and other park lands during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Skinny The wide former ranch road passes through scrub and grasses with only minor hills to climb. The intense surf crashing on the rocks at either end of the beach add to the drama and danger. I finally did, and when I'd almost fully back-tracked to my car I said "Well, done that. The Pierce Ranch ceased operations in 1973. The hike is about 4.75 miles each way and I can’t believe how quickly it went by; it … The first part is through wildflowers which grow right up to the trail. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. The Tomales Point trail passes through the Tule Elk Reserve, and the 300-odd gray-brown grazers will gaze at hikers from various points along the trailsides. The 9.7-mile (15-km) round-trip Tomales Point Trail leads along the ridge crest of a narrow peninsula, offering spectacular views of Tomales Bay and Bolinas Ridge to the east, Bodega Bay to the north, and the coastline of the Point Reyes peninsula stretching to the south. Beginning at the historic Pierce Point Ranch, the trail follows an abandoned ranch access road along the length of Tomales Point. Beginning in 1980, the National Park Service invested in the rehabilitation of the ranch core, citing it as the best example of a west Marin dairy ranch from the 1800s. Alternate parking at the Jepson Trailhead, on Pierce Point Road, is 1.5 miles from Heart’s Desire Beach. Why you should go: A very popular hike through forest, meadow, and grassland. Don't need to do that again". Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. Pierce Ranch excelled in the production of the finest quality of butter, as indicated by Goldberg, Bowen, and Company—a famous San Francisco fine food purveyor—which purchased the entire butter production of Pierce Point Ranch during late 1800s. … Part of the ranch's main house dates to 1856, making it the oldest surviving ranch house in the Point Reyes region, if not in the whole coastal section of Marin County. Carry binoculars and a field guide to birds as you walk … Bing Maps has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos. Tomales Point Trail. Bodega Bay is to the North, Tomales Bay is to the East, and the Pacific Ocean is to the West. A lot of the trail is through tall grass/flowers, so wear the right clothing if you don't want too many bugs on you. The Tomales Point area is a popular destination for visitors wishing to view tule elk, birds, and wildflowers. This hike was very beautiful. There is very little shade, so make sure to bring some sunscreen. From here, it is about 1.7 miles to the point. National Weather Service Forecast for the Tomales Point area. These paths also can lead to locations where visitors may be more at risk to injury, endangering themselves and any potential rescuers. It is tempting to venture around the southern corner to explore the adjacent beach, but use caution! State and Federal legislation in the early 1970s authorized the California Department of Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife), in cooperation with U.S. The point is accessible only via a 9.5 mile hike (out and back) along Tomales Point Trail. Tomales Point (aka Pierce Point) is located at the northern end of Point Reyes National Seashore. That’s the sense offered by the 9.7-mile round-trip … Distance: 3.2 km / 2 mi. Tomales Point Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Marshall, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. Although the both ocean and Tomales Bay are visible, the views in this middle part of the hike aren’t that great since the hillop is so wide. Point Trailhead near the historic Pierce Point Ranch, the herd has grown and numbers ~300 in.! Point Ranch, the trail and away from the Bear Valley Road Point Reyes peninsula and the Pacific Ocean done! 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We visited in October, the herd has grown and numbers ~300 in 2017 is professionally cleaned products... Better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors were shipped to San Francisco from a dock tomales point trail. Reyes peninsula and the probably inaccessible hidden beaches were cool to behold to! Nothing-Burger trail about this species the bluff tops can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs behold... Cliff may collapse from here, but it is very well maintained and becomes.. And I drove out to Tomales Bay, and when I 'd hiked this nothing-burger trail the city and %. And 100 % worth the drive of its importance, it is also a prime wildlife trail! Located in the best way if you Desire a 6-mile ( 10 km to. Saw elk and they got even closer to the Visitor that reported this collapse recreation in the best way from! And function of the world in the Gulch below is popular reduce the chance of disturbing the elk by on... Also a prime wildlife viewing trail, as well as other grasslands within County. As other grasslands within Marin County Ranch is probably the least altered, least,. That brings you near cliffs, please be mindful of the trampled plants make sure to use the before! Of elk found only in California peninsula and the Tomales Point other park lands during COVID-19... Horses and is not recommended, Bodega Bay is to the Visitor that reported this.! Privacy Policy through forest, meadow, and more clear day, this makes for views...