Tomales Point Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore

Rate this Adventure 9.5 miles 447 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Nancy Stockdale

This trail at the northern end of the Point Reyes National Seashore provides stunning views of both the Pacific Ocean and Tomales Bay, as well as Bodega Bay (at the far northern end of the trail). There are amazing wildlife encounters waiting to be had, particularly with the spectacular Tule Elk herd that lives in this sanctuary.

Tomales Point Trail is a gorgeous day hike that allows you to enjoy the stunning beauty of the Point Reyes National Seashore and get relatively close to the amazing Tule Elk as well. This is a 9.5 mile out-and-back hike along a two lane track, and the entire hike will provide stunning views of the Pacific Ocean to the west, with beautiful vistas of Tomales Bay to the east, and eventually, Bodega Bay to the north. The entire area is an elk preserve, so you will certainly have the chance to see many gorgeous Tule Elk on this hike. You may also see raptors and other birds of prey (I saw many red tail hawk, for example), many seabirds, as well as (maybe) coyote, bobcats, and other wildlife.

Although it is often described as "easy" or "for beginners," if you have mobility issues, keep in mind that Tomales Point Trail has large portions that are eroded, and that you do have to go up and down some hills. I have a knee injury that makes descending tough sometimes, and I had to go quite slowly down some of the steeper hills, largely because of trail erosion. This is definitely not a trail for anyone who has problems ascending or descending, but it isn't a terribly exhausting trail if you have good cardio fitness and strong knees.

The last stretch of this trail is in sand, so be careful for your footing!

You can see from my photos that I was very lucky with the late December weather, and I had a very clear day. This trail can get very windy, so be sure to bring a windbreaker. Also, there is zero shade, so wear your sunscreen!

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Wildlife

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