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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.

DISTANCE
9.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,177 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

views

wildlife

over grown

no dogs

Hike out to Tomales Point with stunning views surrounding you on all sides. An excellent out and back day hike. This open trail 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.

hiking
3 hours ago

Great hike!

We started the hike about 9:30am October 20, 2018. Couldn't ask for better weather. There was a little coastal fog that burned off quickly and no wind.

The first part of the hike is easy and the views of the Pacific Ocean are amazing. Elk can be found throughout the trail. About a mile in, the trail has a good moderate climb.

The real reward is when you reach the point. Because there was no wind, we enjoyed our sandwiches while watching a seal play in the water. We were literally perched on the cliff overlooking the beautiful waves crashing on the shore below.

The return trip was on the same trail, but there were lots of hikers by this time. So glad we left early so we could enjoy some solitude before the crowds. When we returned to the parking lot around 2:00 pm, it was full!

We strolled around the old ranch there looking at the buildings, etc. By the time we returned to our car, about 2:30pm, we noticed that the wind had picked up.

Highly recommend this hike in the morning to avoid crowds and wind!

hiking
6 days ago

Good hike—stunning views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay and south to Drakes Bay. Mild incline about a mile into the hike, but easy hiking on the maintained trail. The last half mile on the unmaintained stretch is a narrow, sandy channel through scratchy foliage, so long pants are a plus, but the view is worth the effort. Lots of Tule elk, we also saw a fox and a coyote as well as birds galore. Be aware that the whole hike is exposed, so take water and keep that in mind as regards clothes. Hike this! It’s awesome.

hiking
8 days ago

This is a super easy hike and very scenic, but long as everyone says. You will get up close and personal with the elk and the birds at the end. I give it 4 stars because there is no water refill stations in the park at all and bathrooms are scarce. But this hike in particular is great.

21 days ago

It took us just under four hours to hike this out and back trail. The views were stunning and we saw many elk as well as a wolf. We enjoyed the hike even though it was raining for about half of the way to the point. The cliffs were a beautiful sight and the sun sparkling on the ocean was beautiful.

hiking
21 days ago

One of my top favorite trail, very scenic. Lots of Elks. I love the cliffs at the end of the trail, very relaxing and peaceful. Highly recommended.

hiking
27 days ago

Awesome hike. Lots of elk, especially when you make it to the watering hole. That last mile of sandy trail wears you out though. But the cliffs are worth it. Highly recommended.

1 month ago

Many Elk. Very minimal inclines. Many children and elderly on the trail. Went barefoot the last mile or so in the sand. One of the calmest and most serene 10 milers in my experience

1 month ago

Beautiful views along the way and at the end of the trail. Fairly easy walk along a dirt/ sand path. Unmaintained area was not difficult to navigate w long sleeves and pants. Took us under 5 hours round trip w a stop for lunch.

1 month ago

Beautiful views all around. Easy hike. Lots of wildlife!

hiking
1 month ago

My first real hike.. Be prepared for miles of sand hiking on the last leg and on the return!! The views will be well worth it!!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Get to the trailhead earlier for parking (8 or 9am), and to see the elk, deer, and rabbits. Went yesterday and it was foggy on our way out, but was burning off on the way back — both ways, it was still gorgeous. Wear layers and bring lots of water. The last stretch to the ocean cliff view is uphill and deep sand trail so your shoes will be filled!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with beautiful coastal ocean views. But best of all is that you get to see Elks! I’m glad I read other reviews here about wearing long pants, good hiking shoes and bringing a jacket for the foggy mornings. Make sure to bring water and snacks because the hike takes about 4hrs round trip.

hiking
1 month ago

awesome hike, get there early and wear warm gear. you will hike through fog most of the hike. but the end well generally be sunny, amazing little watering hole where the elk all hangout. I found driving from San Francisco at 6am made me one of the first people there. but it fills up and gets very busy!

hiking
1 month ago

GREAT view!

hiking
2 months ago

End of August or early September .... great time to observe ELK during rutting season. Get to the trailhead early ... parking lot fills quickly. And being early on the trail is best for seeing ELK.

2 months ago

Great hike today. Glad I followed the advice here and wore long pants and long sleeve shirt. Really overgrown and sandy the last part of the trail but lots and lots of Tule Elk. So cool to hear them call out through the mist.

2 months ago

Spectacular!! Worth every shrub scratch!! Elk are everywhere even bugling which is always fun!! Saw plenty other wild life too!! The views though are extraordinary! My boyfriend and I have been on hikes all over the country and this is one of the top ones!! Loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

A beautiful and "casual" trail located at the tippy top of Point Reyes. Alltrails listed this as a very heavy traffic trail, which is true - depending on the time and day you are going - try going earlier! My boyfriend and I went on Saturday morning around 8:15 AM and there was about 4 total cars in the tiny parking lot. When we left, around 12:15ish, there was no parking anywhere -- uphill, downhill etc. As we're walking back - there was people everywhere! So come early

For those who do come later, when there is no parking, please be considerate and NOT park on the lanes leading to McClure Beach... these are narrow ass roads already - we don't need your cars blocking the road even more... talking to you Prius and Toyota owners! Huge abundance of these cars blocking roads, not cool.

Also, need a restroom? The parking lot DOES NOT HAVE A restroom - you would need to trek or drive down a short ways to McClure beach parking for the restroom.

The trail itself is very beautiful, the last 2 miles are UN-MAINTAINED!! The plants and wildlife overgrown in these areas, so be prepared to get scratched if you are not dressed correctly or don't care!

To be honest, we both wore shorts and the bushes didn't bother us too much.

The last few miles also have SANDY PATCHES. Holy crap, walking up sandy that sink your feet is no fun! Just an FYI.

The first 3 miles were amazing. Lots of downhill coastal scenery to be viewed, ocean waves crashing along the cliffs/beaches and rocks, elk everywhere! A bit windy, but with all the hiking - you get warm fast! Bring a jacket just in case there is fog, luckily my trip there was none.

The hike totals about 4.83 miles each way totally 9.66 miles, from parking to the very tip of the rocks where you can see waves crashing along tidal pools. Alltrails says it's moderate and that definition of moderate varies by individuals for sure. The level of this hike will depend on how you generally hike... going back to the parking lot is pure up hill. About 1-2 miles is just up-hill nonstop so be wary of that... suggest to bring enough water!

At the end, after going through shrubs upon shrubs, you are met with beautiful coastal view, you can climb down the lowest of the rocky platforms to get a nicer view -- it was well worth the 3 hour and 41 minute trek.

2 months ago

We spotted elks, deer and coyote! It was a very nice trail with a lot of wildlife.

hiking
2 months ago

A very fun, scenic hike with lots of wildlife (elk, deer, and coyotes) and beautiful coastal vistas. The grades are minimal and fairly far apart so this is more like a vigorous walk than a hike. Once you pass the reservoir and grove of cypress trees, the crowds thin out all the way to the tip of Tomales Point. Bring a jacket - it's always windy, especially the exposed final mile plus of the hike. No bathroom at the trailhead but there is one right below in the McClure Beach lot. Highly recommended hike !

hiking
2 months ago

Wear long pants and bring a jacket if you don't want scratches on your arms and legs. Near the end of the trail, you'll be walking through some prickly brush that goes chest high (if not head high). There's definitely some steep climbs in sand, but the most tiring one is mile 6-7. Super scenic photos of the water breaking onto shore, fields full of wildflowers, and you may even see some elk!

2 months ago

What an amazing trail along the coast! Expect to get sand in your shoes & go through bushes. The weather was perfect, with the cool, crisp air & fog in the morning and as the fog lifted, the sun made everything so visible. Loved all the wildflowers and wildlife. But the views are to die for! It’s one of my favorite hikes yet!

hiking
2 months ago

It doesn’t get much better than this for me. I arrived by 8:45a on a Sunday and more or less had the walk out to myself. It was dense with fog so had a hazy, dreamlike feel to it. I was the only one at Tomales Point which itself is a stunning vista. There was lots of wildlife to see...sea lions, pelicans, crabs, oyster catchers, snails and gulls. By the time I turned around to walk back around 1130a the fog had cleared and the trail was pretty heavily trafficked. Because the fog had cleared though the walk back felt entirely different than the walk out. The views of the ocean and bay are terrific and seeing a herd of elk was fun. Overall a great hike.

hiking
2 months ago

We had a great day in the fog. I look forward to the “chill” and the fog brings it. We wanted out of the Sacramento 100 degrees that is coupled with poor air quality due to fires. Everything else was a plus, Elk, floral color everywhere. My hiking friends watched a Red Garner Snake eat a vermin.
Our time at Tamales Point was treated with Pelicans, Cormorants, Sea Gulls and friendly hikers pleased with rough waters of the Ocean and the mouth of Tamales Bay.

2 months ago

Tonnes of fog. couldn't see the water for most of the hike. Saw some elk.

hiking
2 months ago

Arrived at 9am to get a spot in the lot and then headed up through the fog. Elk are visible along the way and congregate above the pond. Bull elk are up on the ridge. Once you get to the unmaintained portion of the trail, it turns to sand and the brush gets chest high, but it is worth the views at the end. It is usually foggy in the summer.

hiking
2 months ago

This was the longest hike I’ve done in a while (9.4 miles). We saw lots of wildlife, including a coyote, tons of elk and birds. It was a good workout for me, particularly the last part that is unmaintained. The wildflowers are very overgrown and were taller than me, and it took me awhile to hike on sand. But, the views at Tomales Bluff (the end) were amazing. It had been foggy for most of our hike but cleared up right as we got there so we were able to enjoy our lunch perched on some rocks and taking in the beautiful views!

3 months ago

Beautiful hills covered in wildflowers and bluffs all along the path. Seeing the Elk herds are amazing. The last 2 miles or so are not maintained so wear long pants and sleeves - the wildflowers were as tall as me

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail, with plenty of ooohs and ahhhhs, and some minor ouches.. ;)
Wild flowers towards the end of the trail were very clingy. But overall the trail did not disappoint. Prepare plenty of water and snacks, and definitely agree with others reviews, bring a jacket. You will not regret it.
Also, there’s no bathroom at the trailhead/ parking lot. Empty out your bladders before reaching the trail.

4 months ago

Beautiful and mellow hike. Bring a jacket for Tomales Point, it gets chilly! Lots of wildlife to see and wildflowers everywhere.

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