If you demand great views, wildlife sightings, and an oceanfront setting for your hike—then this is the trek for you! The 9-mile (round-trip) hike to Tomales Point in Point Reyes is a classic. The dearth of trees means unobstructed views up and down the dramatic, otherworldly coastline. Start from the historic Pierce Point Ranch and head north. There’s only one trail to follow along the Tomales Peninsula as it gradually narrows from 1 mile wide at Pierce Point Ranch all the way to the tip, where the trail ends at a promontory overlooking the Pacific and blue-green lagoons that seem plucked from paradise.
Feel the ocean breeze slide across headlands as you devour the uninterrupted ocean views to the west and beautiful Tomales Bay to the east. Hikers can turn around anytime, but we recommend going all the way to picnic at the trail’s end lookout point. (Note: the last stretch of trail, though visible, is overgrown, flower-covered, and meandering; you have to just keep pressing forward.) Spot sea lions surfing the waves and sailboats bobbing in distant Bodega Bay. Did we mention tule elk? Back in 1978 ten elk were introduced on Tomales Point. At last count there were more than 400. Chances are good you’ll spot them, if the weather’s clear; like any hike on the coast, fog can affect the type of hike you have, but you may be surprised at how a gloomy midday opens up into a clear, sunny late afternoon. Point taken!
The trailhead is at the northern end of Point Reyes at Pierce Point Ranch. Note: The last three-quarters of a mile, sand and overgrowth obscures the trail. We recommend wearing long pants. No dogs.