360° VR Panoramas of Marin and the North Bay Counties
Tomales Point
Point Reyes National Seashore, California

I consider this to be one of the best hikes in California - great scenery and guaranteed wildlife. My wife and I try to hike it every year.

As you approach the northern tip of the Point Reyes Peninsula watch for an unusually tall and strong fence just before the road ends at historic Pierce Ranch. You are now in the elk refuge, where several herds of native tule elk (slightly smaller than the Roosevelt elk, or wapiti) roam free.

Start hiking at the ranch and follow a gravel road paralleling the top of the ridge, watching for groups of elk. After an hour or so you will reach Elk Pond, where there are always elk. If you want more exercise and drama, keep going north even though the trail almost disappears in thick bushes. The yellow lupine blossoms here in April are superb. Eventually the peninsula narrows and drops to surf-lashed rocks. There is a wonderful "end of the world" feel out there.


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At the tip of Tomales Point

At the tip of Tomales Point


Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 10, 2005
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Above the tip of Tomales Point

Above the tip of Tomales Point


Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 10, 2005
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Old cypresses mark the site of Lower Pierce Ranch

Old cypresses mark the site of Lower Pierce Ranch


Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 10, 2005
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Above Elk Pond, Tomales Point

Above Elk Pond, Tomales Point


Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 10, 2005
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Elk Pond on Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Elk Pond on Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Elk Pond and tule elk on the Tomales Point Trail. This subspecies of elk disappeared from the peninsula before 1900, but was reintroduced in 1978.

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 5, 2009
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Aligned stones on Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Aligned stones on Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Aligned stones pointing at Mount Saint Helena, on the Tomales Point trail. Origin of the stones is unknown and their meaning debated.

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 5, 2009
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On top of the ridge, Tomales Point Trail

On top of the ridge, Tomales Point Trail


Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 10, 2005
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Above Driftwood Beach on the Tomales Point Trail

Above Driftwood Beach on the Tomales Point Trail


Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 10, 2005
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Pierce Ranch viewpoint, Point Reyes National Seashore

Pierce Ranch viewpoint, Point Reyes National Seashore

Viewpoint above Pierce Ranch

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Date photographed: April 5, 2009
See location in Google Maps

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