Looking for a great trail in Tomales Bay State Park, California? AllTrails has 5 great hiking trails, walking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 3 moderate trails in Tomales Bay State Park ranging from 2.6 to 4.7 miles and from 121 to 1,341 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

bird watching

hiking

nature trips

walking

Situated on the eastern edge of Point Reyes Peninsula, 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the blue waters and sheltered coves of Tomales Bay State Park are a popular destination for a day of picnicking, hiking or water-oriented activities. The beaches and east-facing slopes of this 2,000-acre park are especially attractive because they are protected from the prevailing winds by the high backbone of the Point Reyes Peninsula. The day-use park features four gently sloping, surf-free beaches, protected from winds by Inverness Ridge, the backbone of the Point Reyes Peninsula. The park has hiking trails and is a popular place for picnicking, swimming, clamming and boating. Dogs are not permitted on the beaches or trails. The park includes forests, beaches, field, hills, meadows and marshes - each with its own plant life, including varieties of trees, shrubs and wildflowers. The weather varies greatly. Be prepared for cool, damp and windy weather. Dressing in layers is recommended. The park is open from 8am to Sunset.

hiking
over grown
21 days ago

Only do this walk/hike if you’re looking to sit on a quiet beach. Otherwise, the trail is not in good shape and is blocked by overgrowth. And visually uninspiring. Not good for a hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Nothing of note, but the secluded pebble beach isn’t half bad

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

I started on the Johnstone trail at Hearts Desire and took it all the way to Shell Beach. On the return trip, I took the Johnstone trail to Jepson trail back to Hearts Desire. Between Hearts Desire beach and the fire road, I found the trail to be overgrown in spots. I kept going. The beaches at 8:30 am were empty. Lots of shade on the trail. No very steep parts. One part of the trail was unmarked: an unmarked fork about a mile before Shell Beach. Stay left. Shell Beach was worth it. Very beautiful and not too crowded when I first arrived. Many children began to arrive for swim lessons around noon. Jepson trail on the way back seemed to be better maintained. Saw some chipmunks/squirrels. Lots of flowers.

hiking
3 months ago

hiked this on Saturday 6/22/2019 around 7 pm. If you don’t want to get wade through water until your knees you can’t currently do the portion of the trail that goes by the beach, so bear right at the fork at the trail head, and then loop back via the trail that goes back over the bluff, with the bridge on it. Beautiful views, well maintained. It’s fun to also walk the narrow beach though, just bring a towel or wear water shoes or know you need to turn back before you reach the point.

hiking
bugs
over grown
4 months ago

Completely overgrown, not maintained by park service and very buggy with mosquitoes and biting gnats.

bird watching
5 months ago

This was a wonderful hike with an interesting mix of habitats. I did it as a loop and was glad to be tracking my progress against a map, the trail is not marked at all. A pretty good mix of sun and shade even at mid-day. I’ll be back!

hiking
6 months ago

The trail was nice and decently maintained. It was mossy and lush with a lot of ferns. I had been looking for a beach hike and I would not reccomend it for that. You have to leave to trail to get to the beach and even. Tthe beach is some kind of protected waterway so it doesn't have any waves or the drama of the Pacific. you can also see land on the other side, so it feels more like a lake. also, there is an awkward part of the trail that cuts through a picnic area.

hiking
over grown
8 months ago

Unfortunately the trail was closed after the first several hundred feet due to flooding, this review is not a reflection on the trail itself, but on the ability to actually hike, access, and enjoy the trail - next time I guess.

on Johnstone Trail

hiking
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Good for a relatively quick hike down to Pebble Beach. Views when down by the bay lovely — less interesting higher up.

I would rate this as moderate, not easy, due to length and sections that get the heart rate going. There are sections that are overgrown. Glad I listened to a review stating to wear long pants.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Beautiful trail but TONS of poison oak!

Adjusted the trail to do jepson to the beach and to Johnston trail on the way back to the parking lot. Maybe 2.5-3 miles total. Perfect for a family day hike & beach. The water is perfect for kids swimming

hiking
Monday, June 25, 2018

We took our ten month old out in his hiking backpack for his first outing and we were pleased with this trail! We would definitely do it again. Plenty of shade, some pretty flowers and a nice beach rest at the end. Also, we saw tons of bat rays in the water on the bay. Very cool!

running
Tuesday, June 05, 2018

perfect for trail running, it is well shaded and decently maintained. although, some areas have tall grass and tree branches, note to self for next time was to not wear shorts

hiking
Sunday, April 29, 2018

Great hike with some beautiful views both at the top and near the shoreline where there’s access to picnic tables and bbq grills if interested.

hiking
Sunday, February 11, 2018

This is a great trail for the casual hiker. About 95% of it is hard packed dirt with a layer of pine needles or leaves, which is easy in the joints and peaceful on the ears. The gain in elevation is managed by a grade that’s enough to let you feel like you’ve earned your lunch, but not so much you think you’ll lose your breakfast. That being said, I won’t do this one again. I hike primarily for the views and this trail is so heavily wooded that there really aren’t any. However, if you like that rain forest feel, complete with ferns and Spanish moss, this one is for you.

hiking
Monday, January 22, 2018

Beautiful hike. Downed trees make it a bit difficult to pass in a few spots, but mostly very well maintained. Started at 8 AM and saw maybe 3 other hikers the entire time. Beach is a nice payoff at the halfway point. I think I would reclassify as moderate, but still doable for most.

hiking
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Scenic Views and nice leisure hike

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

nice moderate hike, especially for kids

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Loved this hike, but from where we started, Hearts Desire Beach, the hike was about 4.5 miles one way and probably around 3.5 on the way back. Seems like there are a few trail options to choose from and it's easy to mix/match/mix them up. We chose the trailhead on the eastern end of Hearts Desire beach and took that to Pebble Beach (which was beautiful, no one there except a school of stingrays!) and from there took the Johnstone trail to Shell Beach. Shell Beach is accessible from somewhere other than where we came from as there were quite a few people on the beach when we arrived (and there was a staircase leading off to another trail). We somehow ended up taking an alternate trail back which was only partially the way we came and was shorter. Overall the route we took was a beautiful moderate hike with some elevation change but nothing too challenging. Shaded hike with many microclimates along the way- wear layers of course! We went to Marin Sun Farms for burgers afterwards but saw many people bbq'ing their own at Hearts Desire :)

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Easy trail. Not too much hikers on a labor day weekend. Bonus is hearts desire beach is nearby.

hiking
Sunday, February 28, 2016

We hiked the Shell Beach trail. The hike was very easy and short only a little over a mile out and back. The San Andreas fault line runs through Tomales Bay. The view from Shell Beach is very panoramic. We went at low tide when the rocks on the beach were covered with mussels. It's a nice short hike and the beach is a good spot for a picnic or fishing ;)

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
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