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Tomales Point Trail, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Inverness, California

4.7/5
based on 21 reviews

Details

Distance

9.47 miles

Elevation Gain

1165 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Jake Young

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.

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Features

Hiking
Easy Parking
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

This is a beautiful trail, especially on a clear day where you’ve got views both into the bay and out to the ocean. Even when conditions are foggy you can get lucky and see elk, quail, coyotes, and other wildlife. It’s not all up or all down which is nice but the end is a bit sandy so have a picnic while you rest up for the return trip.

This hike is unlike most I’ve done before because rather than hiking along the coast, you’ve got the ocean crashing on either side. Nowhere else in CA have a seen elk, and they were everywhere along the hike. At the end of the point we were able to climb around the rocks and bluffs to find a lunch spot before heading back.

We saw so many elk and they got even closer to the trail on the way back. Got here at 9am and there weren't many people on the way out, but more on the way back. All the grass dried up over the summer

This hike was very beautiful. The first part is through wildflowers which grow right up to the trail. There were lots of people taking those flower photos here. Farther on you get to see elk. 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.

This hike has it all! Wildlife (we saw elk and a wolf), breathtaking cliffs, beautiful trees, and the impressive ocean. Did it on 12/24 and had an incredible time. It is long (I was wearing older hiking boots and felt it in my feet), but so worth it! Would be quite hot during summer as there's not much shade, especially towards the end.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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"

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

McClures Beach

Kayak Tomales Bay

Marshall Beach Trail

Abbotts Lagoon Trail

Photograph the Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes

Kayak Camping in Point Reyes