Tomales Bay Trailhead

The trail leads through pasture land to Tomales Bay.
Tomales Bay trail is an easy walk to a view of Tomales Bay.

NPS Photo / A. Kopshever

Quick Facts
Tomales Bay Trailhead along Highway 1, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin County, California, Geographic Coordinates: 38.0872, -122.8130

Parking - Auto, Trailhead

The Tomales Bay Trailhead is located on the east side of Tomales Bay. The Tomales Bay Trail is an easy 2.6 mile (4.1 km) roundtrip walk through pastureland in which cattle graze. Remember to close cattle gates behind you. Tomales Bay Trail leads past two stock ponds that teem with bird life. The trail climbs up and over a bluff with an incredible view of Tomales Bay to the edge of the restored Giacomini Wetlands.

Tomales Bay is a submerged rift of the San Andreas Fault. The trail is on the North American Plate. Inverness Ridge to the west runs along the eastern edge of the Pacific Plate.

While officially part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Tomales Bay Trail is managed by Point Reyes National Seashore.

Park Regulations

  • Take only pictures; leave only footprints: Almost everything one finds at Point Reyes is protected by law, including shells, rocks, fossils, flowers, and artifacts.
  • Please only travel on authorized trails, respect posted signs and practice Leave No Trace principles when recreating in the park.
  • Check current conditions and trail advisories and closures before your visit.
  • Bikes are not permitted on the Tomales Bay Trail. Visit Point Reyes National Seashore's Bicycle Riding page to learn where bicycles are permitted on National Park Service lands in the Point Reyes area.
  • Pets are not permitted on Tomales Bay Trail. Visit Point Reyes National Seashore's Pets page to learn where pets are permitted on National Park Service lands in the Point Reyes area.
  • Horses and pack animals are permitted on the Tomales Bay Trail. However, the parking lot for this trailhead is small and can only accommodate about 15 passenger vehicles. So, maneuvering a horse trailer into, around, and out of the lot may be very challenging if there are other vehicles parked in the lot. Please visit Point Reyes National Seashore's Horse Riding page for more information.
  • Drones are not permitted anywhere in Golden Gate National Recreation Area or Point Reyes National Seashore. 


The Tomales Bay Trailhead parking lot is located immediately west of Highway 1 1.2 miles (1.9 km) north of the Point Reyes–Petaluma Road junction and approximately 10 minutes by car from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. The parking lot is unpaved and has space for about 15 vehicles.

Directions to Bear Valley
Directions from Bear Valley to the Tomales Bay Trailhead

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Point Reyes National Seashore

Last updated: November 1, 2023