Point Reyes hiking: Tule elk and amazing views at Tomales Point

Tule elk at Point Reyes -- by Joe Reifer

Sunday we hiked the Tomales Point trail in Point Reyes [map] and saw about 90 tule elk. All I can say is wow. If you live in the Bay Area, this hike is highly recommended. Point Reyes: The Complete Guide to the National Seashore & Surrounding Area has lots of great information about hiking in the big beautiful wilds of West Marin. The Bay Area Hiker site has a good description of the hike. Here are a few additional tips:

  1. Go early. The fog came in around 1pm, and so did the crowds (although it wasn't terribly crowded). We started the hike a little after 10am and finished around 3pm. Going an hour earlier would have been helpful.
  2. Bring layers and wear pants. When the fog rolls in you don't want to freeze. The last mile out to Tomales Point is a narrow trail with a lot of brush at ankle/shin level. Don't let the last mile of this overgrown trail deter you from going all the way out to the end - the views are incredible, even if it's foggy.
Cliffs near Tomales Point -- by Joe Reifer