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If you like beaches, headlands, scenic landscapes, wildflowers, and tons of wildlife viewing, you should give this hike a try. Overnight parking/camping in RVs and trailers is prohibited throughout Point Reyes National Seashore. Along the trail, you'll have great opportunities to see tule elk. 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. Don't confuse this worthwhile out-and-back trail with the better known and more crowded Tomales Point Trail. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. This beach is really easy to get to. 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 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. 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. 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. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. Distance: 3.2 km / 2 mi. 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. Stunning Views And Wildlife, Though Prepare For Hiking In Sand For Longer Than You Want To. This open trail offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. Point Reyes Station, CA Dogs: Dogs are not allowed on any of the beaches or trails at Tomales Bay State Park. Thank you to the visitor that reported this collapse. Tomales point trail is on the road to McClures beach. Please park perpendicular to the road where possible. Stay away from cliff edges. The Pierce Ranch ceased operations in 1973. This hike has it all! They are the smallest of the North American elk. 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”. Do not climb cliffs. 415-464-5100 The Tomales Bay trail is on the east side of the bay. The point is accessible only via a 9.5 mile hike (out and back) along Tomales Point Trail. Bodega Bay is to the North, Tomales Bay is to the East, and the Pacific Ocean is to the West. Bear Valley Trail. Discover trails like Tomales Point Trail California, find information like trail length, elevation, difficulty, activities, and nearby businesses. It is long (I was wearing older hiking boots and felt it in my feet), but so worth it! After driving another 5.6 miles (9 km), turn right at the Y signed for "Tomales Bay State Park" and "Pierce Point Ranch." Did it on 12/24 and had an incredible time. •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. 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. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. However, these "social paths" tend to exacerbate erosion and harm threatened and endangered species. The views were absolutely incredible! 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. Located in the far northern corner of the Seashore, the Tomales Point Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in the park. Great trail with stunning views This is one of the best trails north of San Francisco. Be aware of your surroundings and stay back from the edge. Just follow Pierce Point Road until you see the sign to the beach. Tomales Point is a moderate day hike with incredible seaside views, ending at the northern tip of Pt. The region is home to a tule elk population.. Gallery Be extremely cautious with gett... Kayak Beautiful Tomales bay and experience the bioluminescence ecology of the bay. There were lots of people taking those flower photos here. 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. Wear layered clothing. Updates will be posted to our Current Conditions page and social media channels. Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information. This is an awesome hike. Hike out to Tomales Point with stunning views surrounding you on all sides. Carry binoculars and a field guide to birds as you walk … The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. 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." 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. 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. The trail climbs up onto a wide, flat ridge. 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. The Tomales Point Trail descends to Windy Gap. Plus, more Elk! One can catch the sun setting "into" the ocean and still have enough twilight to walk back to one's vehicle before dark. 1 Bear Valley Road The views are so worth it! 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. An excellent out and back day hike. However, it's worth mentioning that Tomales Point is stunning. • TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Beyond the Lower Pierce Point Ranch site, the trail is no longer maintained and becomes sandy. 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. Please explore responsibly! The first part is through wildflowers which grow right up to the trail. Since then, the herd has grown and numbers ~300 in 2017. Tomales Point is located at the northern-most end of the Point Reyes peninsula. Alternate parking at the Jepson Trailhead, on Pierce Point Road, is 1.5 miles from Heart’s Desire Beach. We also felt very accomplished! Be sure to use the restrooms before heading out on area trails. Reyes, Tomales Point, where the Tule Elk Preserve is located. ), or speak with a ranger. A Stay at Home (also known as Shelter-In-Place) Order is in place for Marin County until further notice. 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. 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". It was well worth the effort! 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. Bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. 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. The Tomales Point Trail traces the ridge of the Point Reyes Peninsula, a narrow strip of land dividing Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean. A short 0.4-mile (0.6-km) trail leads down to the beautiful McClures Beach. There is no sandy beach here, but it is an interesting shoreline that few people see. 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. Tomales Point is a Tule Elk preserve. Restrooms are available at the McClures Beach parking lot from 6 am to midnight. Bring a water bottle. Please note: The main house currently serves as a residence for park employees. … Follow the trail for roughly three miles. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. The end of the peninsula, Tomales Bluff, is a great place to have a picnic. 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 … 3 Tomales Point Trail, Marin County Want to feel like you’re traveling to the top of the world? ), or speak with a ranger. 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… The Tomales Point area is a popular destination for visitors wishing to view tule elk, birds, and wildflowers. The dairy products were shipped to San Francisco from a dock in Tomales Bay. 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 hike was very beautiful. Cell phone reception is very minimal to nonexistent in the Tomales Point area. Looking beyond White Gulch, one has a view of Hog Island in Tomales Bay. The Skinny On Saturday, Anna, her husband Paul and I drove out to Tomales Bay to hike the Tomales Point Trail. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Directions to Tomales Point from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. There are many sensitive elk habitats along the way, so it is always a good idea to stay on trail. The trail descends into the wide, shallow valley where the Lower Pierce Ranch used to be located. Tomales Point Trail. A pay phone is available at the Tomales Point Trailhead parking lot. 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. It is tempting to venture around the southern corner to explore the adjacent beach, but use caution! 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. I got home and told my son I'd hiked this nothing-burger trail. 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. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. At the one-mile (1.6-km) mark is Windy Gap at the head of White Gulch. This is an opportune section of the trail to be on for sunset (so long as fog doesn't obscure the view). nannodes). 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. Panels have ADA-compliant fonts. 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. 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. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call. These paths also can lead to locations where visitors may be more at risk to injury, endangering themselves and any potential rescuers. It is very dangerous to climb or walk along the edge of cliffs. Beyond this "peak", the trail descends rather steeply over the next 0.75 miles (1.2 km). The first mile of the trail is fairly level and broad, with views looking west over the Pacific Ocean. © 2020 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. On a clear day, this makes for spectacular views. Hiking along the bluff tops can be unsafe and is not recommended. 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. Don't need to do that again". 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. The Tule Elk is a subspecies of elk found only in California. Many visitors spend at least an hour or two in the Tomales Point area. If you have yet to see elk, you'll likely see some here. This hike is pretty flat for the most part and it’s a great place to see the beautiful coastline. Similar to the fissure that formed on top of Arch Rock, visitors discovered these hazards before park staff did. 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. From the trailhead off CA Highway 1, the Tomales Bay trail starts off on a mellow downhill through open coastal plains. It is also a prime wildlife viewing trail, as it is remote and the tule elk are enclosed in this reserve. Please reduce the chance of disturbing the elk by staying on the official trail. Tomales Point lies at the northernmost tip of Point Reyes National Seashore where the Pacific Ocean meets Bodega Bay. 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. From the Bear Valley Visitor Center, drive northwest ~2 miles (~3 km) on Bear Valley Road before turning left on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. 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