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Tomales Point Trail

  4.5 ( 63 ) Favorite


9.8 mile 15.7 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 996' 304 m
Descent: -996' -304 m
High: 534' 163 m
Low: 83' 25 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (8°)


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Trail shared by Megan W

A trail with spectacular coastal views and probable elk sightings.

Megan W

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly You don't have to make it all the way to the point to have a great time on this trail. Given that the trail cuts through the elk preserve, kids are sure to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals.


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. The wide former ranch road passes through scrub and grasses with only minor hills to climb.


The parking for the Tomales Point Trail is on the site of the Pierce Ranch house and dairy barn where locally famous butter was produced starting in 1858. The dairy products were shipped to San Francisco from a dock in Tomales Bay.

This mellow trail is an out-and-back, so you can turn around at any point. The "official" doubletrack trail ends after a long descent to the Lower Pierce Ranch near a pond and grove of eucalyptus. An "unofficial" singletrack trail continues on to vista point at the very tip from which you can see Bird Rock (to the west) and Bodega Head (to the east). The trail becomes fainter the further you go towards the bluffs.

If you stay long enough, in a few millennia you'll become detached from California - the San Andreas fault runs under Tomales Bay, taking Pt. Reyes north on its tectonic plate away from California's southbound plate. Another word to the wise: check the weather for a clear day, as fog frequently obscures the views. It is also windier and colder on the coast. Note: bikes are not allowed on this trail.

Flora & Fauna

This trail is located within the Pt. Reyes Nat. Seashore elk preserve so you are nearly guaranteed to see some of the ~450 native tule elk which live here. In September the male elk are in their rut, so listen for bugling and crashing antlers. Elephant seals congregate on the beaches below in February and March. Other wildlife include mountain lion, raccoon, rabbits, birds non-venomous snakes. Wildflowers (especially poppies, iris and lupine) are abundant April-June.

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Aug 11, 2019
Sara Bold
16mi — 11h 55m
Aug 3, 2019
Stephanie Falch
Jul 24, 2019
Tynan Smith
Absolutely beautiful. Early morning the fog was out. By the time we were on the way back, the fog was gone. We saw over a hundred elk. 9.8mi — 4h 00m
Jun 29, 2019
Madeline Esquivel
4h 00m
Jun 27, 2019
Selena Fang
Jun 22, 2019
Will Rodriguez
9:30 - 130 9.8mi — 4h 00m
Jun 8, 2019
Jenny King Dugan
Jun 1, 2019
Caitlin M
Davis hiking club. Beautiful views 9.8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 63 votes


  4.5 from 63 votes
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in California


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8,328 Since Jan 30, 2015



Tomales Point at Pt. Reyes
Apr 3, 2019 near Inverness, CA
Tule elk male, Tule Elk Reserve, Tomales Bay
Sep 1, 2015 near Inverness, CA
View from Tomales Point
Jul 16, 2018 near Bodega Bay, CA
Tomales Bluffs
Jul 16, 2018 near Bodega Bay, CA
Tomales Point
Feb 12, 2015 near Bodega Bay, CA
Tule Elk
Jul 16, 2018 near Bodega Bay, CA

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