Tomales Point Trail

 18 votes

9.8 Miles 15.7 Kilometers


0%

Singletrack

996' 304 m

Ascent

-996' -304 m

Descent

534' 163 m

High

83' 25 m

Low

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

13%

Max Grade (8°)

All Clear

17 days agoUpdate

A trail with spectacular coastal views and probable elk sightings.

Megan W

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.
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

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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4.6 from 18 votes


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Check-Ins

Aug 9, 2017
Amna Dolphin
9.8mi
Aug 6, 2017
Fabio S
Reached very early so a lot of elk had a wonderful time 10.3mi
Aug 6, 2017
Oxtay Azar
Jul 23, 2017
Jackie Sojico
Jul 21, 2017
Jorn Nordahl
Jul 9, 2017
Vivek Nair
Uncovered trail. Gets sandy after the first 4.7 miles end. You're on an unmaintained trail after this to get to the actual "point". Was fairly fogg... 9.8mi
Jul 2, 2017
Jaclyn Rose
Jun 25, 2017
Jen Flohrs
Wildflowers we're going nuts and a whole herd of elk crossed the path right in front of me 9.8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 18 votes

#98

Overall
  4.6 from 18 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
28%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#10

in California

#98

Overall
142 Views Last Month
1,642 Since Jan 30, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Conditions


All Clear 17 days ago

Getting forecast...

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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