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Tomales Point Trail

 4.6 (41)

Length


9.8 Miles 15.7 Kilometers


996' 304 m

Ascent

-996' -304 m

Descent

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (8°)

534' 163 m

High

83' 25 m

Low

Shared By Megan W

Conditions


All Clear 49 days ago

Getting forecast...

A trail with spectacular coastal views and probable elk sightings.

Megan W

Dogs No Dogs

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.

Overview

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.

Description

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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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Oct 6, 2018
Brieanna Beck
Such a wonderful hike! We went all the way to the end of the point, very worth the views. 9mi
Sep 4, 2018
Jodi K
Planning to go about 2-2.5 miles in! Foggy to start
Aug 27, 2018
Roly Blosch
12h 22m
Aug 25, 2018
Jonathan Katz
Aug 25, 2018
Baktash Boghrati
Aug 12, 2018
Eugene Wu
Aug 5, 2018
Kristen Lee
9.4mi
Jun 18, 2018
Joseph Matan

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 41 votes

#95

Overall
  4.6 from 41 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#12

in California

#95

Overall
417 Views Last Month
5,208 Since Jan 30, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate

6%
43%
51%
0%
0%
0%
I've hiked this trail over 10 times. Its a really great view the entire way with lots of changing scenery. There are almost always some elk to be seen, and if you look into the estuary you can often see dozens to hundreds of harbor seals. If you make it all the way to the point in good time its a really cool spot to take a break. May 25, 2017

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