Tomales Point (Pt. Reyes National Seashore)

Tomales Point Trail Run

Region: Marin
Location: Pt. Reyes National Seashore
Time from Bridge: 90 min GGB
Mileage: 9M – Out and Back
Difficulty: Moderate
Facilities: None at trailhead. Limited restaurants and gas in Pt. Reyes Station (10mi). Full facilities in Fairfax (30mi).

Map: Point Reyes National Seashore North District

Related Websites:

National Parks Website for Pt. Reyes National Seashore
Tule Elk State Reserve Website
Color piece on town of Pt. Reyes Station in Costal Traveller

Directions:

101 N to Sir Francis Drake. Follow 101/Sir Francis Drake Towards Pt. Reyes Station (turning north at the T intersection in Olema), then turning left on Sir Francis Drake before the town of Pt. Reyes Station. If you’ve crossed a bridge you’ve gone too far north.

Follow Sir Francis Drake in to Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Once within Pt. Reyes National Seashore, bear right on Pierce Point Road. Follow Pierce Point Road until the parking lot at the historic Pierce Point Ranch.

Trail Description:

A great trail made even better by the opportunity to see an endangered species up close and in their natural habitat. The Tule Elk is an officially endangered species, with a park population of around 1300 – most active from mid summer to early fall.

The trail starts with a quick flat and decent in to your first valley. Climbing out of the valley brings you to a fantastic stretch of flats and rollers which make up the bulk of the run. You get nonstop panoramic views of the peninsula and Pacific during this stretch.

After dropping in to the second major valley, you’ll climb up and out through a sandy section of trail. Here, average speed slows considerably, and the trail often becomes indistinct. Keep headed north (you’re on a peninsula, after all) and you’ll get there eventually. This physically demanding section is more than redeemed by dual Pacific and Tomales Bay views on either side.

Views are (almost impossibly) better for the return trip; you’re often in full command of a vista stretching as far as visibility allows down the length of the Point Reyes National Seashore.

The Reality:

An incredible run, though the drive from the city can be a chore.

Be sure to bring snacks and cold drinks for the car ride out of Pt. Reyes National Seashore, as the closest food is 20 minutes, and the closest restaurant is 30 minutes away from the trailhead.

Food:

Try the Pine Cone cafe in Pt. Reyes Station (closes at 3pm weekends) for great organic American homestyle food. Bovine Bakery is the carb spot on the main drag. The horde of cyclists likely camped outside will guide you in. Also check out the Cowgirl Creamery retail location (or cafe) inside the Red Barn type thing downtown.

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