January 11, 2014 · 10:30 AM
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Elevation: 100 Feet
The Tomales Point tule elk reserve is not only a great place to watch wildlife, it's one of the quietest trails on Point Reyes. The single trail drifts north away from the trailhead, eventually reaching Tomales Point, nearly 5 miles from the nearest road. Squeezed on three sides by water, the only sounds are wind, surf, and bird cries. At a bluff overlooking the ocean you can spy on pelicans, cormorants, and seagulls, while elk bellow in the distance. The preserve's tule elk population is rapidly expanding. Tomales Point may be at its best during the clear and gentle weather of autumn and spring.
Tomales Point Trail, a 4.7 mile out-and-back route, is the only long distance option. We will start at signed Tomales Point Trail, at the west edge of the parking lot. After about 1 mile at a level grade, Tomales Point Trail curves right and descends to Windy Gap. This is a common elk location. The trail begins a long moderate ascent, finally attaining the ridgeline. At 3.18 miles we will reach old Lower Pierce Point Ranch. The trail begins to climb again, through a landscape with ever increasing amounts of yellow bush lupine. At 3.80 miles, just past a sign pointing north to Tomales Point, the trail shifts to a course through loose sand. The trail crests but does not linger. Finally, at 4.78 miles, we will reach the point.
You won't be disappointed!
Carpool: Please create a Car Pool at the Arastradero Park and Ride at Paige Mill and Arastradero. I will be going there directly and will meet you at the end of Pierce Point Road on Point Reyes at 10:30 AM where the Tomales Point Trailhead begins.