Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. 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. We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. The point is accessible only via a 9.5 mile hike (out and back) along Tomales Point Trail. 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. Be aware of your surroundings and stay back from the edge. Since we visited in October, the land was pretty brown. It is very dangerous to climb or walk along the edge of cliffs. Distance: 3.2 km / 2 mi. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, nature trips, and horses and is accessible year-round. The first mile of the trail is fairly level and broad, with views looking west over the Pacific Ocean. We also felt very accomplished! Don't confuse this worthwhile out-and-back trail with the better known and more crowded Tomales Point Trail. Farther on you get to see elk. Please respect the privacy of the residents. Please observe all "No Parking" signs. On a clear day, this makes for spectacular views. On Saturday, Anna, her husband Paul and I drove out to Tomales Bay to hike the Tomales Point Trail. Pierce Ranch is probably the least altered, least modernized, physical complex of ranch buildings in the area. One can catch the sun setting "into" the ocean and still have enough twilight to walk back to one's vehicle before dark. The wide former ranch road passes through scrub and grasses with only minor hills to climb. Did it on 12/24 and had an incredible time. 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. There are no potable sources of water at Tomales Point. Many of the cliffs around Point Reyes are unstable and prone to collapse. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your There were lots of people taking those flower photos here. 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. 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. The trail descends into the wide, shallow valley where the Lower Pierce Ranch used to be located. 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. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service, to reintroduce the extirpated tule elk to Tomales Point. Wildlife (we saw elk and a wolf), breathtaking cliffs, beautiful trees, and the impressive ocean. Tomales Point Trail. Reyes, Tomales Point, where the Tule Elk Preserve is located. Visitors are welcome to walk through the ranch complex, where interpretive signs describe the history and function of the various buildings. 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. They are prone to crumbling and sliding, especially in wet weather. 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. 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. If you have yet to see elk, you'll likely see some here. 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. 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. Please reduce the chance of disturbing the elk by staying on the official trail. After reaching Lower Pierce Point Ranch, the trail is not maintained and can be overgrown with bush lupine or other shrubs. Updates will be posted to our Current Conditions page and social media channels. This mellow trail is an out-and-back, so you can turn around at any point. The dairy products were shipped to San Francisco from a dock in Tomales Bay. This hike has it all! All the grass dried up over the summer. Tule elk once inhabited the grasslands of the Point Reyes peninsula and the Olema Valley, as well as other grasslands within Marin County. If you plan on hiking to Tomales Point, be aware that additional sections of the cliff may collapse. They were the dominant grazers on these lands until their local extirpation in the 1850s. 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. 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. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. This open trail offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. The Tomales Point Trail traces the ridge of the Point Reyes Peninsula, a narrow strip of land dividing Tomales Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Please visit our Viewing Tule Elk page for elk watching tips and our Tule Elk page for more information about this species. 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. Long (nearly 10 mi round trip) but relatively easy hike along costal cliffs and through an Elk Preserve. If you like beaches, headlands, scenic landscapes, wildflowers, and tons of wildlife viewing, you should give this hike a try. Directions: From Inverness, follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard north. 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. The trail climbs up onto a wide, flat ridge. An excellent out and back day hike. Historic features include the main house, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, barns, dairy houses, and many other structures. Hike the Tomales Point Trail, Pt. Tomales Point is a moderate day hike with incredible seaside views, ending at the northern tip of Pt. As a result, a section of the Tomales Point Trail is no more. Hiking along the bluff tops can be unsafe and is not recommended. Thank you to the visitor that reported this collapse. On our hike out to the point, we were completely socked in by the fog. 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. Don’t needle them or step off the trail and peace shall be maintained. Tomales Point Trail. It does feel like the end of the world in the best way. 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. Directions to Tomales Point from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Would be quite hot during summer as there's not much shade, especially towards the end. It is long (I was wearing older hiking boots and felt it in my feet), but 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. Carry binoculars and a field guide to birds as you walk … As other reviewers stated, the seashore and the Tomales Bay views are stunning, and seeing dozens of elks grazing … 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. … 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 end of the peninsula, Tomales Bluff, is a great place to have a picnic. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call. This trail is very well maintained and you are almost guaranteed to see tule elk along the way. 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. The Skinny Tomales Point is a Tule Elk preserve. Please explore responsibly! Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information. 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. Surrounded by water on three sides for the length of the trail, it feels like walking nature’s plank—but in a good way. We were both whooped! As an example of how sea cliffs are hazardous, in January 2017, part of the bluff at the northern end of Tomales Point collapsed. If you are hiking anywhere that brings you near cliffs, please be mindful of the hazards. 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.". , physical complex of Ranch buildings in the far northern corner of the Reyes... 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