Tomales Point Trail

 6 votes
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Featured Hike

9.8 Miles 15.7 Kilometers



996' 304 m


-996' -304 m


534' 163 m


83' 25 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (8°)

Minor Issues

43 days agoUpdate

A trail with spectacular coastal views and probable elk sightings.

Megan Wilder


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.
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.
Dogs: No Dogs


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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4.7 from 6 votes

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Feb 16, 2017
Amy Zesiger
Jan 28, 2017
Vipul Jhawar
Jan 15, 2017
David Hitchcock
Hiked to the point and back, lots of Elk along the trail. Hiked early to avoid the crowd, passed 150-200 people on the way back. 9.8mi
Jan 13, 2017
Kelly Wente
Beautiful hike! Just blues of the ocean and emerald greens of rolling hills. The elk were everywhere and so close! I even saw a coyote! Top hike!
Dec 30, 2016
Matt Lau
Nov 21, 2016
Julie Jones
Gorgeous... must do again. Great for running 3mi — 2h 00m
Nov 15, 2016
jessica bodary
Sep 20, 2016
Jeffrey Schneider
We saw pelicans, a red-tailed hawk, a coyote, and dozens of tule elk, and wandered through beautiful vistas, capped by those at Tomales Point.

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes


  4.7 from 6 votes
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in California


159 Views Last Month
734 Since Jan 30, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate



Minor Issues 43 days ago
Muddy: Water running down the middle of the trail in the downhill areas, very muddy in places especially around mile 3.
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