Nestled among the wild flowers in meadow along the Tomales Point Trail, a couple stops to talk about the beautiful day, the amazing views and their love of this trail. This is only my second time on the trail in four years and I couldn't agree with them more. There are so many great hikes in Northern California and this is a must-do.
The Tomales Point Trail leads you down a magical five mile plank out to the tip of Tomales Point - with Tomales Bay on your right and the Pacific Ocean on your left. The hike winds through the Tule Elk Reserve providing unlimited, close viewing of grazing herds of Tule Elk, which are only native to California.
Words just aren't able to describe the beauty and grandeur of this hike.
|A small group of Tule Elk crossing Pierce Point Road as I approach the parking lot|
|Tomales Point Trail - 4.7 miles out to Tomales Point|
|Looking back to the start of the trail. Tule Elk graze all along the hills.|
|A herd of Tule Elk taking in the Tomales Bay view|
|A lone elk trying to catch up with his friends|
|The trail turns to sand at this point, but takes you through meadows of wild flowers|
|California poppies line the trail to Tomales Point|
|The peak before the descent to pure California beauty|
|And...here it is! A great spot for a picnic just before the Point|
|Tomales Point - well worth the journey|
|Smaller wildlife viewing...my caterpillar friend|
|The elk move around all day, providing more photo opportunities on the hike back|
For more information on Tule Elk and how they have made a home in Point Reyes, check out KQED's video about these native Californian animals.
When you go:
- Follow the driving directions on the NPS web site to find the trail head parking. The drive is about an hour and a half from the East Bay
- Take plenty of water and bring sunscreen and a hat. A windbreaker or windproof coat will keep you most comfortable with the ocean breeze
- Bring binoculars if you're really interested in viewing the elk. While they are easy to spot, you don't want to get too close
- Right before you get to Pierce Point Road off of Sir Francis Drake, you will pass through the small town of Inverness. There is a bakery, coffee shop and a Czech restaurant (seems a little out of place, but had a nice deck)
This hike will never disappoint you. Well, unless it's shrouded in fog and you can't see the bay, ocean or the elk. Check the coastal forecast so you don't go on a day like that!