Kayak Camping in Point Reyes

Chicken Ranch Beach

Activities

Camping, Kayaking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Adult Beverages
Bathrooms
Beach
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic

Sunsets, bonfires, oysters, and camping on the beach. What else do you really need? Kayak to one of Tomales Bay's main boat-in campsites. Pick up oysters and bbq them at your beach bonfire.

Like camping in remote locations? Love oysters? This is it! Tomales Bay offers boat-in only campgrounds along the east side of the peninsula.

We departed from Chicken Ranch Beach, which is on the west side of Tomales Bay. We jumped in our kayaks and headed north in the bay for a quick breather at Heart's Desire Beach. This beach has restrooms, so keep that in mind when you head up. One thing that we learned for next time, it's best to start the paddle in the morning or in the early evening, once the wind has died down.

Once we were ready to take off from Heart's Desire, we headed up to Tomales Beach. This is one of two campsites, Marshall being the other, which offers restrooms at the campground. Be sure to catch the amazing sunsets from the northern most point of the beach.

If you need a kayak, we recommend renting kayaks from Blue Waters Kayak. If you reserve them far enough in advance, you may be able to depart from Blue Water Shop on the east side of the bay, which is closer to the campgrounds. Another plus side is that it's located right next to The Marshall Store. Stop here, pick up a dozen or 2 of raw oysters (can't go wrong with the Kumamotos), pack up the kayaks, and paddle across the bay. It's best to get an early start on the day to avoid potential headwinds.

Unfortunately, these campgrounds aren't dog friendly, so keep that in mind when planning future camping adventures.

Here's a map to give you a better lay of the land.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $75/night

Enchanted Forest Cosmo Site

Occidental, California

From $120/night

Mystic Mountain Petrified Camp

Santa Rosa, California

From $120/night

Peace and Plenty Farm

Kelseyville, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Environmental Traveling Companions

Such an amazing 7 days. The jellyfish bouncing off the boat, sting rays zooming beneath, seals waving hi, spying on Tule Elk, getting spied on by Foxes, watching Pelicans, Osprey, Gulls and Herons fish, and fighting off Raccoons. This was a hell of an adventure. The name of the place escapes me, but there is an Oyster Bar across the Bay. I ate at least 30 raw oysters when we stopped their on our return trip by kayak.

Bioluminescence is a must see!

If you stay overnight, plan to go during a new moon so that you can check out the sparkling of the bioluminescence at night! It's unreal! If you're going on the weekend, it can get really crowded on Saturday nights, so I recommend heading out early and securing a camp spot on one of the smaller beaches with only one tent spot (if you prefer solitude). Only 2 of the beaches (Marshall and Tomales) have restrooms, but it's worth heading to one of the far beaches on the north end for the solitude. You'll see plenty of seals, sea birds/pelicans, jellyfish, and other fun creatures. Make sure you bring all the water you will need (you can't filter water here) and pack out ALL of your waste. Pack lightly because you're pulling all the gear with you on the kayak ;)

Hi Friends! Planning this trip now. Did you bring all your camping stuff (wood, cooler, tents) in the Kayak with you? Blue water wants an arm and a leg to rent a kayak and transport your stuff in a boat. wondering if there is another way!

Activities

Camping, Kayaking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

You'll love who you are when you are in Marin!

Marin County is just a little out there. As in one famous bridge away from San Francisco. And right next door to the vineyards and Napa and Sonoma. Closer than you could ever imagine to everything that's unique in this clever corner of California. Take a vacation from the typical vacation

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Explore the S.S. Point Reyes Shipwreck

Adventure

Camp and Kayak in Tomales Bay

Adventure

Hike the Estero Trail

Adventure

A Beautiful Hike to Abbotts Lagoon

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

A Magical Yosemite Valley Winter Storm

A Yosemite Winter Wonderland

gear

La Sportiva Women's Skwama Climbing Shoe Review

Super sticky, super responsive, and just as badass as the men’s version of the shoe.

travel

A Few Days in Rossland, BC - A Must-Stop on the Powder Highway

If this town of less than 4,000 friendly folks doesn’t charm your socks off, the terrain at RED M...

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

More Stories