Hike the Tomales Point Trail, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Point Trail, Inverness, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1300 Feet

Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Tomales Point is a moderate day hike with incredible seaside views, ending at the northern tip of Pt. Reyes. Along the trail, you'll have great opportunities to see tule elk.

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.

Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way.

After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. From here, it is about 1.7 miles to the point. 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. The end of the peninsula, Tomales Bluff, is a great place to have a picnic.

There are many sensitive elk habitats along the way, so it is always a good idea to stay on trail. 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.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snack or lunch
  • Long pants (unmaintained portion of the trail)
  • Photography gear
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Reviews

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Long (nearly 10 mi round trip) but relatively easy hike along costal cliffs and through an Elk Preserve. 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. However, it's worth mentioning that Tomales Point is stunning. It does feel like the end of the world in the best way. There were many black cormorants hanging out and nesting, and the probably inaccessible hidden beaches were cool to behold. Plus, more Elk!

6 months ago
6 months ago

This is an awesome hike. 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. We were both whooped! We also felt very accomplished! It was well worth the effort! The views were absolutely incredible! 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! The views are so worth it!

8 months ago
8 months ago

A really nice hike with plenty to see, don't forget to dress properly as it can be pretty windy. After the rain that we had everything is in bloom, flowers everywhere, lots of birds and the elks are curious but try not to approach them as they'll run away. Don't forget to bring your camera as there's a lot to take photos of.

11 months ago
11 months ago

Did this hike a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it! We did not make it all the way to the end, but enjoyed the wide open views of the ocean. We passed by many elk and also saw a coyote in the distance. Definitely recommend this hike to anyone visiting Point Reyes. Do go with a group as a mountain lion has been living out in this area.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Wanna see elk munching on grass with an ocean view? This is the place for you. Although the hike is on the longer side for a day hike, the scenery and wildlife make it worth it. I recommend bring a picnic and some beer to celebrate at the "end of the world"

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

.

Great Vibes & Amazing Views! The trip down here is worth it especially for sunset!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Definitely get here early, especially if it's a weekend! By the time we got back to our car the parking lot and road out were completely filled up. It's a beautiful trail with very nice views.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

This hike is a beauty! I got there right after sunrise and there were only three other cars in the lot. The tule elk were active and, though cautious, not too interested in me. The trail is easy to follow even once it becomes "unmaintained." I hiked on a beautiful, cloud-free Sunday and on the hike back to my car I passed an endless stream of hikers. I'm glad I got there early! My hike in was relatively quiet, with only the occasional hiker around. The parking lot, and road into the lot, were packed. I saw enough runners to assume this is a great trail for running.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Some of the most breathtaking views I've ever seen.

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

I prefer a mix of tree coverage and open sky on my hikes, so I don't put this trail in my top 10.... but a pleasant walk and definitely one for all types (no need to be a hiking expert). Great to be "out on the water" and super cool finish to see bay and ocean on both sides at the end!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Probably my favorite Pt. Reyes hike besides Estero Trail. You get it all on this one (Tamales Bay, ocean, flora/fauna) and it isn't too difficult if you want to take your time on it. Not the shortest drive to the trailhead but worth it

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Flowers as tall as me, elks 2 or 3 times larger than me ^_^ and yes, the view is just beautiful. Best combination (in my opinion) of coastal and mountain views. An easy hike, not much elevation changes. It is a long walk though, that's all you need to account for.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Bryn wants to do this as well.

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

bring a snack, you'll want to stay

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

Sorry Lisa, no dogs

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

Sweet views of the ocean from the cliffs above at the end of the hike

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

Dog friendly?

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

It's pretty foggy during the summer, so remember to bring layers.

over 4 years ago
over 4 years ago

Jake Young Explorer

Adventurer, Photographer, Impact Investor. I work with companies that want to have a positive impact on the world around them.

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