Dogs are allowed only at the Vista Point picnic area and must be on leash at all times. Please explore responsibly! Tomales Point is the North-Western tip of Point Reyes Peninsula. Be aware that the shoulders along Pierce Point Road are often soft during the winter and spring and vehicles have become stuck in the mud when their owners attempted to park along the road. Loose soil and/or rock can give way suddenly and you may fall. Hiking along the bluff tops can be unsafe and is not recommended. Reyes. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Discover trails like Tomales Point Trail California, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. The first three miles of this trail are maintained and follows the route of an old ranch road as it travels along the crest of the ridge. Thank you to the visitor that reported this collapse. The wide former ranch road passes through scrub and grasses with only minor hills to climb. The trail climbs up onto a wide, flat ridge. Bring a water bottle. The hike is about 4.75 miles each way and I can’t believe how quickly it went by; it … Stunning Views And Wildlife, Though Prepare For Hiking In Sand For Longer Than You Want To. Turn right on Pierce Point Road and follow it to the end where you will come to Pierce Point Ranch where the trail begins, which is a total of about 11 miles from Inverness. A short, moderately steep 0.4-mile (0.6 km) hike leads down to a beautiful beach in a small cove with intense surf that is surrounded by rocky cliffs. Over time, as more and more visitors use a route, it starts to look more and more like an official trail, and more and more visitors use it, resulting in a feedback loop that makes the "trail" look "official." Bodega Bay is to the North, Tomales Bay is to the East, and the Pacific Ocean is to the West. You may wish to fill your water bottles at the water bottle filling station/water fountain located inside of the, There are no food services west of Inverness, which is a twenty-five-minute drive from the Tomales Point Trailhead parking lot. The Tomales Point area is a popular destination for visitors wishing to view tule elk, birds, and wildflowers. However, it's worth mentioning that Tomales Point is stunning. There is no sandy beach here, but it is an interesting shoreline that few people see. It is very dangerous to climb or walk along the edge of cliffs. Bring food from home or purchase food at one of the. But, if you are willing to proceed, you will soon arrive at a stock pond at the site of the Lower Pierce Point Ranch. The Tomales Point Trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Bodega Bay, and Tomales Bay as one potentially hikes 9.4 miles (15 km) round-trip to the northern end of the Peninsula. If you plan on hiking to Tomales Point, be aware that additional sections of the cliff may collapse. Great trail with stunning views This is one of the best trails north of San Francisco. Tomales Point Trail - 9.5 Miles Round-Trip Tomales Point caps the northernmost tip of Point Reyes National Seashore where the Pacific Ocean meets Bodega Bay. Turn around here if you desire a 6-mile (10 km) round-trip hike. 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. Visit our Recreate Responsibly page for guidelines for responsible recreation in the outdoors at Point Reyes and other park lands during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call. The Pierce Ranch ceased operations in 1973. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. 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. Ten elk (eight females and two males) were transplanted from an existing reintroduced herd in the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge near Los Baños to a 2,600-acre fenced enclosure on Tomales Point in 1978. Parking is very limited, particularly in the afternoon. I got home and told my son I'd hiked this nothing-burger trail. The 9.7-mile (15-km) round-trip Tomales Point Trail leads along the ridge crest of a narrow peninsula, offering spectacular views of Tomales Bay and Bolinas Ridge to the east, Bodega Bay to the north, and the coastline of the Point Reyes peninsula stretching to the south. Please visit our Viewing Tule Elk page for elk watching tips and our Tule Elk page for more information about this species. Be sure to use the restrooms before heading out on area trails. 4 reviews of Tomales Bay Trail "For years now I've driven by the Tomales Bay Trailhead and been consistent in remarking that "I want to hike that". Tomales Point Trail. Reyes National Seashore, Remodeled Dillon Beach Haven W/ Hot Tub, Game Room, Charming Farmhouse On Organic Cattle Ranch, Photograph the Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes. Distance: 3.2 km / 2 mi. The Tomales Point trail passes through the Tule Elk Reserve, and the 300-odd gray-brown grazers will gaze at hikers from various points along the trailsides. Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on any of the beaches or trails at Tomales Bay State Park. Directions: From Inverness, follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard north. Follow Pierce Point Road 9 miles (14.5 km) to the parking lot at Pierce Point Ranch and the Tomales Point Trailhead. On Saturday, Anna, her husband Paul and I drove out to Tomales Bay to hike the Tomales Point Trail. Just follow Pierce Point Road until you see the sign to the beach. 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. This hike has it all! The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. The intense surf crashing on the rocks at either end of the beach add to the drama and danger. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. 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. National Weather Service Forecast for the Tomales Point area. An excellent out and back day hike. This open trail offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. Please respect the privacy of the residents. Tomales Point Trail, a 4.7 mile out-and-back route, is the only long distance option here, but you could also walk from the trailhead to McClures Beach, an under 1 mile round trip, or cut short a Tomales Point Trail hike wherever you choose along the way. Got here at 9am and there weren't many people on the way out, but more on the way back. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. Wear layered clothing. As a result, a section of the Tomales Point Trail is no more. They were the dominant grazers on these lands until their local extirpation in the 1850s. Tomales Point Trail, Point Reyes Station: See 100 reviews, articles, and 213 photos of Tomales Point Trail, ranked No.4 on Tripadvisor among 18 attractions in Point Reyes Station. Restrooms are available at the McClures Beach parking lot from 6 am to midnight. One can catch the sun setting "into" the ocean and still have enough twilight to walk back to one's vehicle before dark. If you are traveling with a trailer or are driving an RV towing a passenger vehicle, consider unhitching at the bus/RV/trailer-only parking lot at Bear Valley and taking only the passenger vehicle for the drive out to Tomales Point and other areas of the park. Tomales Point Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Marshall, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. This mellow trail is an out-and-back, so you can turn around at any point. The trailhead at Tomales Point is reached by Pierce Point Road, forking north off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near the high point of Inverness Ridge, descending into pastoral land on the west side of the peninsula, and passing through five historic (though still active) cattle ranches, designated M, H, I, K and J, before ending beside the white-painted, weather-worn buildings from a sixth - Pierce Point Ranch. All the grass dried up over the summer. If you don't want to sweat much on the return hike, turn around here. adventures and follow local regulations. As an example of how sea cliffs are hazardous, in January 2017, part of the bluff at the northern end of Tomales Point collapsed. There is very little shade, so make sure to bring some sunscreen. It is tempting to venture around the southern corner to explore the adjacent beach, but use caution! The trail descends into the wide, shallow valley where the Lower Pierce Ranch used to be located. To get to McClures Beach, turn left just before entering the ranch parking lot and descend the hill 0.2 miles (0.3 km) to the McClures Beach parking lot. The region is home to a tule elk population.. Gallery There are no potable sources of water at Tomales Point. Pierce Ranch is probably the least altered, least modernized, physical complex of ranch buildings in the area. Reyes, Tomales Point, where the Tule Elk Preserve is located. Along the trail, you'll have great opportunities to see tule elk. That’s the sense offered by the 9.7-mile round-trip … Beginning in 1980, the National Park Service invested in the rehabilitation of the ranch core, citing it as the best example of a west Marin dairy ranch from the 1800s. If you are hiking anywhere that brings you near cliffs, please be mindful of the hazards. Would be quite hot during summer as there's not much shade, especially towards the end. In 1976, Congress authorized the creation of the Point Reyes Wilderness (renamed in honor of Phillip Burton in 1985), incorporating the decommissioned cattle ranch as habitat for the reintroduction of tule elk. Don't confuse this worthwhile out-and-back trail with the better known and more crowded Tomales Point Trail. The historic Pierce Point Ranch offers a glimpse into the early dairy ranching days on the peninsula. It's an easy hike down from the parking lot. Bear Valley Trail. As other reviewers stated, the seashore and the Tomales Bay views are stunning, and seeing dozens of elks grazing … Looking beyond White Gulch, one has a view of Hog Island in Tomales Bay. They are the smallest of the North American elk. The main attraction of this trail is the abundant Tule Elk (Cervus canadensis ssp. Don't need to do that again". Carry binoculars and a field guide to birds as you walk … Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Pierce Point Road are windy and slow-going, so allow thirty-five minutes to drive the 16.6 miles (~26.5 km) from the Bear Valley/Olema/Point Reyes Station area to the Tomales Point parking lot (one hour and ten minutes round-trip), not including any time you will spend in the area. Visitors are welcome to walk through the ranch complex, where interpretive signs describe the history and function of the various buildings. The only official trails in the Tomales Point area are the Tomales Point Trail and McClures Beach Trail, shown in the map to the right (or above, if you are viewing this page on a small screen). Plus, more Elk! Although the both ocean and Tomales Bay are visible, the views in this middle part of the hike aren’t that great since the hillop is so wide. Hike out to Tomales Point with stunning views surrounding you on all sides. Historic features include the main house, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, barns, dairy houses, and many other structures. The tule elk seem to be accustomed to visitors walking along the Tomales Point Trail, but tend to react negatively to visitors they encounter off-trail. The first part is through wildflowers which grow right up to the trail. 415-464-5100 Please park perpendicular to the road where possible. Many visitors spend at least an hour or two in the Tomales Point area. Please note: The main house currently serves as a residence for park employees. The Tomales Point Trail runs along coastal bluffs, up the peninsula's spine, and through the Tule Elk Preserve en route to its climactic finish on the Seashore's wave-battered cusp. This region is known for hikes and beaches on Point Reyes Peninsula and the shoreline of Tomales Bay. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Limantour Spit Trail. •Your newly remo... Stemple Creek Ranch is a family-owned and operated organic cattle ranch in Tomales, CA, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. In places, it can be challenging to recognize which path to follow among the bush lupine, but the myriad paths tend to reconnect and ultimately merge into one path along the last half mile (0.8 km) of the "trail.". The first mile of the trail is fairly level and broad, with views looking west over the Pacific Ocean. Since then, the herd has grown and numbers ~300 in 2017. Please stay on the main trail and away from the cliff tops. While referenced in many books and websites as a good location to find tidepools, tidepoolers have lost their lives here when sneaker waves have struck them. Horses are also able to use this trail. Continuing north on the trail, one begins to ascend along the ridge crest to the highest location along the trail, located approximately 2.25 miles (3.6 km) from the trailhead. Did it on 12/24 and had an incredible time. • TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Beginning at the historic Pierce Point Ranch, the trail follows an abandoned ranch access road along the length of Tomales Point. A telephone in the lower parking lot is accessible. Visitors may experience stiff winds, cool temperatures, fog, and/or rain at Tomales Point; so dress appropriately. Hike the Tomales Point Trail, Pt. Although it only takes about an hour to complete the out-and-back, the vibe surrounding this area is just begging you to... Just north of San Francisco, there's a row of giant Monterey cypress trees that forms a “tree tunnel”. The drive to the Tomales Point Trailhead is a winding road up and down hills, sometimes scenic and generally slow because of all of the tight turns. Please reduce the chance of disturbing the elk by staying on the official trail. Beyond this "peak", the trail descends rather steeply over the next 0.75 miles (1.2 km). •Uncork your fav... • TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc. Cell phone reception is very minimal to nonexistent in the Tomales Point area. 3 Tomales Point Trail, Marin County Want to feel like you’re traveling to the top of the world? Panels have ADA-compliant fonts. There were lots of people taking those flower photos here. The point is accessible only via a 9.5 mile hike (out and back) along Tomales Point Trail. This beach is really easy to get to. Among the many ranches of the Point Reyes peninsula and of the nearby Olema Valley, Pierce Ranch is the one with the greatest degree of integrity of early buildings in its physical complex. Long (nearly 10 mi round trip) but relatively easy hike along costal cliffs and through an Elk Preserve. 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. Be aware of your surroundings and stay back from the edge. Please observe all "No Parking" signs. Why you should go: A very popular hike through forest, meadow, and grassland. There were many black cormorants hanging out and nesting, and the probably inaccessible hidden beaches were cool to behold. Pierce Point Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and was subsequently opened to the public as an interpretive site. This is a good location from which to view elk gathered at a perennial spring in the gulch below. Tomales Point is a moderate day hike with incredible seaside views, ending at the northern tip of Pt. Established in 1858, Pierce Ranch (aka Pierce Point Ranch) was the largest of four independent ranches on the the Point Reyes peninsula in the late 1800s. Visitors walking off of official trails and paths trample vegetation, which may lead to the death of the trampled plants. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. From here, it is about 1.7 miles to the point. A Stay at Home (also known as Shelter-In-Place) Order is in place for Marin County until further notice. This is an awesome hike. Pierce Ranch excelled in the production of the finest quality of butter, as indicated by Goldberg, Bowen, and Company—a famous San Francisco fine food purveyor—which purchased the entire butter production of Pierce Point Ranch during late 1800s. If you park along the Pierce Point Road south of the parking lot, ensure that no part of your parked vehicle is on the pavement in order to allow other vehicles to safely pass. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. A short 0.4-mile (0.6-km) trail leads down to the beautiful McClures Beach. Tomales Point is a Tule Elk preserve. Tomales Point Trail. The dairy products were shipped to San Francisco from a dock in Tomales Bay. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! Wildlife (we saw elk and a wolf), breathtaking cliffs, beautiful trees, and the impressive ocean. Bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. This is an opportune section of the trail to be on for sunset (so long as fog doesn't obscure the view). The Tomales Point Trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Bodega Bay, and Tomales Bay as one potentially hikes 9.4 miles (15 km) round-trip to the northern end of the Peninsula. The Tomales Bay Trail is a hiking route that provides access to the part of Tomales Bay where the salt water mixes with freshwater from Lagunitas Creek. After driving another 5.6 miles (9 km), turn right at the Y signed for "Tomales Bay State Park" and "Pierce Point Ranch." However, these "social paths" tend to exacerbate erosion and harm threatened and endangered species. Tomales Point (aka Pierce Point) is located at the northern end of Point Reyes National Seashore. The Tomales Point Trail descends to Windy Gap. Tomales Point is surrounded by water on three sides – the Pacific Ocean to the west, Tomales Bay to the east, and Bodega Bay to the north. A flat trail provides access to a self-guided tour of the ranch complex. Alternate parking at the Jepson Trailhead, on Pierce Point Road, is 1.5 miles from Heart’s Desire Beach. The Tule Elk is a subspecies of elk found only in California. It was about an hour outside of the city and 100% worth the drive. Please help do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus by staying close to home; if you do visit Point Reyes, please maintain at least six feet of physical distance. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, to reintroduce the extirpated tule elk to Tomales Point. Tomales Point is located at the northern-most end of the Point Reyes peninsula. … The views were absolutely incredible! State and Federal legislation in the early 1970s authorized the California Department of Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife), in cooperation with U.S. From the trailhead off CA Highway 1, the Tomales Bay trail starts off on a mellow downhill through open coastal plains. Point Reyes Station, CA 1 Bear Valley Road Small cracks are present in the ground, some several feet from the edge. The Tomales Bay trail is on the east side of the bay. The Shafter brothers sold a 2,200-acre tract of land on the end of Tomales Point to Solomon Pierce for $7,000 in 1858. Farther on you get to see elk. 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. ), or speak with a ranger. 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! At the one-mile (1.6-km) mark is Windy Gap at the head of White Gulch. After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. Don’t needle them or step off the trail and peace shall be maintained. This hike was very beautiful. Stay away from cliff edges. Do not climb cliffs. Tule elk once inhabited the grasslands of the Point Reyes peninsula and the Olema Valley, as well as other grasslands within Marin County. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. Similar to the fissure that formed on top of Arch Rock, visitors discovered these hazards before park staff did. The Tomales Point Trail traces the ridge of the Point Reyes Peninsula, a narrow strip of land dividing Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean. nannodes). On our hike out to the point, we were completely socked in by the fog. It was well worth the effort! Bing Maps has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos. We also felt very accomplished! Part of the ranch's main house dates to 1856, making it the oldest surviving ranch house in the Point Reyes region, if not in the whole coastal section of Marin County. It does feel like the end of the world in the best way. The trail gently meanders over rolling hills for its entirety, with no shortage of views overlooking endless ocean, precipitous coastal cliffs, and what feels like a bird’s eye view over a uni… 94956. The Point Reyes region ranches were, as a group, considered to be the best dairy ranches among the 300 in the state as of 1900, and Pierce Ranch was at the top among the Point Reyes ranches in the quality of its product. 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. Individuals engaged in outdoor exercise, such as walking, hiking, running, or bicycling, are not required to wear a face covering, but should carry one with them and must wear a facial covering when interacting with others who are not members of their household in public and private spaces if they cannot practice physical distancing. This hike is pretty flat for the most part and it’s a great place to see the beautiful coastline. This area can only be safely accessed during the outgoing low tide. Beyond the Lower Pierce Point Ranch site, the trail is no longer maintained and becomes sandy. Surrounded by water on three sides for the length of the trail, it feels like walking nature’s plank—but in a good way. The hike to Tomales Point is one of the easier trails to follow. Allow one hour and thirty-five minutes for the drive (three hours and ten minutes round-trip) from the Santa Rosa area, northwest San Francisco, or the northern East Bay. In recognition of its importance, it was written up in 1878 and again in 1880 as an outstanding example of a dairy ranch. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. Year-round you can hike in from the parking area trailhead at Pierce Point Ranch and see a herd of elk from the trail, usually guarded … You can help park staff better protect park visitors by contacting the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5, by contacting the park's Dispatch at 415-464-5170, or by sending us an email if you find anything that looks hazardous in the park. Be extremely cautious with gett... Kayak Beautiful Tomales bay and experience the bioluminescence ecology of the bay. 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. They are prone to crumbling and sliding, especially in wet weather. The Skinny Directions to Tomales Point from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. The views are so worth it! These paths also can lead to locations where visitors may be more at risk to injury, endangering themselves and any potential rescuers. Since we visited in October, the land was pretty brown. It is long (I was wearing older hiking boots and felt it in my feet), but so worth it! From the parking lot at the Tomales Point Trailhead, walk to the left of the historic Pierce Point Ranch, which offers a glimpse into the early dairy ranching days on the Peninsula.. Continue straight, in a general northern direction, on the same trail for 7.6 km until the trail dead ends at Tomales Point. This iconic trail runs along dramatic coastal bluffs and through the Tule Elk Preserve en route to its climactic end atop the Seashore's wave-battered cusp. The vast majority of the Tomales Point Trail is open as you hike across the rolling hills. If you like beaches, headlands, scenic landscapes, wildflowers, and tons of wildlife viewing, you should give this hike a try. Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information. With wraparound views of Bodega Bay, Tomales Bay and the Pacific, you will be surrounded by nature’s splendor and, most likely, many fellow hikers. Overnight parking/camping in RVs and trailers is prohibited throughout Point Reyes National Seashore. We were both whooped! It is also a prime wildlife viewing trail, as it is remote and the tule elk are enclosed in this reserve. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. A pay phone is available at the Tomales Point Trailhead parking lot. We saw so many elk and they got even closer to the trail on the way back. Tomales point trail is on the road to McClures beach. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call. I finally did, and when I'd almost fully back-tracked to my car I said "Well, done that. Directions to Tomales Point from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. From the Bear Valley Visitor Center, drive northwest ~2 miles (~3 km) on Bear Valley Road before turning left on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. ), or speak with a ranger. Located in the far northern corner of the Seashore, the Tomales Point Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in the park. Many of the cliffs around Point Reyes are unstable and prone to collapse. Once you arrive at the trailhead go first to the McClure Beach parking area (only 1/4 mile down the road) to access the toilets … This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc. If you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way,... 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And I drove out to Tomales Bay State park `` peak '', the land pretty! A glimpse into the wide, flat ridge on a clear day, this makes for spectacular.! Moderate day hike with incredible tomales point trail views, ending at the northern tip of Point Reyes peninsula the... And is accessible year-round mindful of the Ranch complex, where the Pacific Ocean trail with stunning views this one.