Summary: This is an awesome trail. You get to wander among the Tule Elk. they are very docile creatures and they rest and graze amazingly close to the trail.
I was reminded of my childhood in Scotland walking on top of windswept crags on the North Sea Coast.
The trail is super easy to follow, and if you choose, you do not have to go all the way to the point. The last half mile goes through some seriously sticky sand, but it is worth the view at the end.
The road ends after 3 miles in and the trail continues through some overgrown wildflowers. It is probably a very good idea to wear pants if you are going all the way, because it can be a bit scratchy, and there may be some poison oak.
Trailhead: From the Golden gate Bridge - take the 101 North to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, exit and drive West for 28 miles. You will continue traveling on this road through the park. Make a right turn onto Pierce Point Road and follow it until it ends.
Park at the old ranch, and the trail is unmistakable. (Lat:38.1889 Lon:-122.95406)
Trail Guides for Point Reyes - Tomales Point:
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)
Walking the California Coast
by John McKinney (Harper Collins)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Bear Valley Visitor Center (415)464-5100
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted 123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by GambolinMan on 1/24/2010
Check it out, nature lovers! http://gambolinman.blogspot.com/2010/01/pt-reyes-national-seashore-94-mile-hike.html
Reviewed by joe on 5/18/2009
Hiked on 5/16/09. Unusually hot weather, probably 50 total hikers on trail. Two distinct Elk groups, one near pond at lower ranch with obvious bull, second herd further south, no obvious bull, both herds 40-50 animals, some with radio collars. Saw +5 garder snakes, nesting (cormorants?) on bird rock, one feeding grey whale off point, numerous seals on rocks, osprey, crows, ground squirrels (one being eaten by a crow on roof of Pierce ranch barn, barn swallows, hummers, warblers, quail. Great hike for a deadhead trail. Would imagine it gets very windy and cold on exposed trail, but not this time. I would hope they remove the eucs that are establishing near lower ranch before they take over. Blue-eyed grass, lupines, iris, poppies - colors!
Reviewed by Carol on 1/30/2009
Unforgettable hike! First is the elk, then is a steep drop when you reach to the tip of Tomales Point, then is the Pacific Ocean, breath taking hike, not difficult at all, just need to take some time to enjoy the scenery.
Reviewed by tg on 12/2/2007
1,200 feet elevation may be inaccurate. google shows it to be around 600 feet (http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1481822), which is more feasible. i hiked it yesterday.
Reviewed by Tony on 10/12/2007
GREAT HIKE! Just remember that the trail goes up and down abotu 4 times. Its just one rolling hill after another. But you will love the scenery. When you reach near the end, the trail becomes sand and its hard to know where the trail is. Stay to the left hand side and you'll see Bird Rock and more things. Oh yea watch out for the Elk poo. :).
Reviewed by dave on 10/9/2006
Wow! Great hike, great views..next time won't wear 'doe in heat' cologne!! I am from FL, and was in awe towards the end. GPS helpful through the sand area as the elk have created tons of new trails and it easy to get off of them. That is not always a bad thing as the trails have more traction than the soft sand.
Reviewed by Doug on 4/26/2004
A great hike to take an out-of-towner if you want to show off California life. Take some binoculars - although there are lots of amazing animals nearby, you can seem some amazing stuff with a little assistance. Go early - I was there by 9am and there were several cars in the lots, when I came back about 1pm it was packed and there was overflow. Given this, you never felt like it was crowded. My GPS measured 9.5 miles round-trip, so the numbers above are spot-on. You could take a picnic to eat at the end overlooking the ocean, too. Often foggy in the morning, clear by noon, can get cold and windy at times.
Reviewed by Chris on 10/13/2003
Fantastic hike! We saw a tremendous amount of wildlife. In addition to the Tule Elk, we came across two coyotes, 3 hawk, peregrine falcons, seals, as well as several other birds. There is some sand as you approach the point. The hike to the point may be a little long for some but the views make it well worth the effort.
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