Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore, CA

December 22, 2013

Miles: 9.6
Time: 4 hours 16 minutes

Parking: Book provides GPS coordinates for the parking lot. The road to the trail head is very twisty for many miles!
Parking lot was large, but pretty full. 

Rest rooms: None at the trail head. We found some at another parking lot on the road to the trail.

Map: Point Reyes National Seashore
Hike directions: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles, San Francisco - Hike #13

Hike description: This was an amazing hike for wildlife viewing. We saw a couple hundred elk, a coyote, a rabbit, a handful of pelicans, a handful of sea lions, vultures, and several other varieties of birds. The trail is moderate. Footing is easy, and the ups and downs are moderate. Most of the trail looks like it is on a dirt jeep path. Near the very end, the footing turns to sand. The trail is popular, so even on a winter weekend, there were others on the trail, however it didn't feel too crowded. The point is a great place to stop for lunch. This hike is complete exposed (very few trees), so make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat.

Post Hike Dinner: Tony Tutto Pizza, Mill Valley, CA (north of Golden Gate bridge). Casual place, limited indoor seating. They have more outdoor seating. I can't remember if this is vegetarian only, but they do have a special vegan section of their menu (1/2 the pizzas were vegan). They have very creative offerings, and they also have micro brews. The pizza I had was great!

Year to date miles: 391.9

Trail head at the parking lot.

We didn't see any on the ground, but saw several on elks :)

On the drive to the trail head there was ranch after ranch.
The ranch at the trail head is no longer active from what I understand - and you can walk around it.

Going to the left of the ranch buildings, we are at the right place.
It is an out and back. No map needed.

The Pacific Ocean to the left of us.

The second elk we saw. I had to have a photo.
This is kind of funny - because it is a lone elk. I was worried that I wouldn't see another.

Colorful rock formations (can't tell from the photo, but the rocks were rather pastel colored).

The trail (scroll right) looks like an old jeep road. Walking was easy.

The first herd we came across.
They seemed to be separated by sex.
Or at least all of the large antlered elk were separate from the others.

We come across a group of antlered elk

This hike had very few trees. We came across a handful of cypress and eucalyptus.

There was also a herd of deer.

Once we got near the point, the terrain became sandy (thus slower hiking).

Tomales Point

This is a great place for lunch. 

We got one photo of what I assume is a sea lion (if not, a seal). They were playing in the waves.
We saw pelicans too, but weren't able to time our shots to photograph them.

On the twisty road back to our hotel, we decided to stop on a pull out and just caught the sunset. Magical!

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