Tomales Point Trail is a 9.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Inverness, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
Hike out to Tomales Point with stunning views surrounding you on all sides. An excellent out and back day hike. This open trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. It is also a prime wildlife viewing trail, as it is remote and the tule elk are enclosed in this reserve. The first 3 miles to Lower Pierce Point Ranch are well marked and maintained, but the last stretch can be overgrown with bush lupine and other shrubs, so long pants and long sleeves are a good idea. The journey all the way to the Point is worth it, for the view is unparalleled. Fog and wind can limit visibility and make this hike more challenging. The Tomales Point Trailhead is at the end of Pierce Point Road, 40 minute driving time from Bear Valley.
Moderate but long. It has two high incline points. Recommend wind protection, sun screen, gloves, tight fitting hat, water, all weather shoes (there are some muddy areas), and if you get there past noon, a flashlight.
If you love wildlife then this hike is FOR YOU. There were at least 5 herds of elk just off the trail grazing and sleeping in the lush green grass with at least one large 12 point buck in each. One herd was entirely bucks (about 20 of them) within 50-100 yards of the trail!
This hike is definitely not strenuous with pretty gentle inclines and gorgeous panoramic ocean views the whole way. It is mentally tiring though since the end always seems so close, yet still far away. We left the parking lot at 1:30 and got back at 5:00 while spending about 20 minutes at the edge of the world enjoying the scenery. Definitely worth the hike. Be prepared to walk through some sand and a some little muddy spots especially in winter.
Be sure to type in Tomales POINT Trail, NOT Tomales BAY Trail. Both are miles apart, but nice. We made the mistake of going to the Bay trail, but found it quite beautiful with the rolling green pastures spotted with Holstein cows and frogs chirping here and there after a storm had rolled through yesterday. When we got to the end of it, the trail quickly became something akin to the Marshes of Mordor in Lord of the Rings.
Bring a jacket, plenty of water and snacks and stay on the path!
I really like this trail. It's almost 5 miles one one but totally worth it! The last time I hiked it it was December 3rd and the weather was very nice. We started around 10:30 and we were able to get back around 3pm and this is with our pictures stops and lunch nap. The view of the ocean is amazing! Totally worth it!
This was all around a beautiful hike. We went with a group of mixed abilities, but everyone came away happy. Of course, the stunning ocean and bay views exceeded our expectations, but the real treat was the wildlife viewing. We saw many elk grazing and even saw some splashing in a small pond. Beyond that, we also saw a very healthy mother coyote and her pup, as well as two other lone coyotes. There were also plentiful birds, and surprisingly, even a few butterflies on a blustery October day. I would definitely recommend this hike, especially to groups with both advanced and beginning hikers.
This trail is really great, and the elk add an additional dimension to what would already be a good time. Besides the Tomales Point Trail, you can also easily walk a 1/4mi the other direction from the trailhead and be at McClures Beach.
That said, DO NOT TYPE Tomales Point Trail into Google Maps and expect to get where you need to go. Take a look at what it returns and you'll see why: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.2753297,-121.8990835/Tomales+Point+Trail,+Inverness,+CAemail@example.com,-123.0104715,13z/data=!4m9!4m8!1m1!4e1!1m5!1m1!1s0x8085d3358078bce1:0x2a3815d3b8fb1020!2m2!1d-122.974766!2d38.2143777
THERE IS NO FERRY FROM DILLON BEACH TO TOMALES POINT. We ended up having to drive an extra hour+ to get back around Tomales Bay to the correct route, and cut the hike short due to lack of time. Lots of elk, though, and beautiful views of both the ocean & the bay.
It was a great hike: The weather was perfect, seeing elks and other wildlife, the hike was moderate with gradual inclines.
Beautiful hike but get there early as the parking lot fills up fast. Depending on time of year it can be windy with low clouds. I did this in mid September and experienced both of these conditions. It is quite an experience to be hiking so high above the ocean and see bodies of water on both sides of the trail. The elk are used to people and hang out fairly close to the trail without trouble. We heard bull elk bugling and running up the steep green hills. Cow elk and their young relaxed a ways away from the bulls. There are many side trails that go to the edge of the cliffs for better views. An all around great hike probably better to do in summer weather.
Four stars because I had the pleasure of seeing hundreds of Elk and being more than close. Great ocean views as well...
Great hike that had awesome views. The sand towards the final two miles were a little frustrating but over all it was a great hike. I recommend.
One of our favorite hike in the entire Bay Area. Spectacular views...mostly rolling hills...elk and maybe if you are lucky a whale or two.