Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Tomales Point Trail


Why is it every time I type Tomales Point Trail it types Tamales!  lol   Silly auto correct.

The other day we went to Tomales Point Trail which goes through the Tule Elk Preserve at Point Reyes National Seashore.  I’d never been to this spot before usually opting for the more famous area of Point Reyes, the Lighthouse.   I’ve included a map so you can see the trail and where we hiked.

I couldn’t carry anything heavy like a zoom lens or even my Nikon because it’s a long hike out there for me, so I opted for my Sony A7 mirrorless with the cheap lens it came with, the 28-70.  As a side note, there is a HUGE HUGE difference between that cheap-o lens and my 16-35mm.  Just a confirmation that glass makes a huge difference!   But honestly, I didn’t really even care because my main excitement was to see the elk and accomplish the hike.  To some, the hike might not seem that much but for me it’s like climbing Mt. Everest given the health issues I have.  I’m paying for it two days later as it sort of wore me down but it was so worth it because…..

We saw two groups of elk!  The first one we came upon contained about 30 elk.  They were too far away for my lens but there were docents there with spotting scopes for people to see them up close.  Naturally we checked them out through the scope.  With our naked eye we could see them clearly though….bulls with huge racks on them on the ridge looking down at us, and activity up and down the hill.  The second grouping came much further along the hike….a pond just off the right side of the trail with maybe 10-15 elk sitting there relaxing.  The docent told us the old bulls come here and just chill and eat the grass around them.  They were spectacular to see so close!   Still couldn’t get a close picture with my lens but I was so thrilled to see them and have included a cropped photo here for you to see.

One thing that was amazing to me is that we could see Bodega Bay from the farthest point we were on the trail.  Also along the walk we saw red fox hunting, an occasional coyote (one crossed the trail right in front of us about 30′ away) and of course a variety of birds flying around.  The trail is 4.3 miles to the point and 4.3 miles back.  We didn’t go the whole way, it was probably another .5 miles out to the point which would’ve added another mile to the hike and it’s a hilly hike so we opted to turn around after seeing the elk.  I was a bit worried about being able to get back but having seen the second herd of elk, I felt so accomplished that it pushed me to succeed in my return.  I guess I wasn’t the only one who felt challenged out there because we saw an emergency ATV at one point on its way to rescue someone.

The wild feeling of Point Reyes is so incredible.  I guess I would describe it as a wild abandon feeling.  There is such freedom there.  What can I say…I love our California Coast!





Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

43 thoughts on “Tomales Point Trail

  1. Such a beautiful shot of the elk.

  2. Gorgeous and great animal sightings!!

  3. Great narrative about your hike, and lovely images! I’ve done that hike more than once. It’s a trek! Up hill both ways, and some it through sand which is the worst! Seeing the Tule Elk, and other wildlife, and the great views make all the miles worth it though.

    Hope you’re not as sore tomorrow.

  4. I like to think of myself as one of your elk: a bull with a huge rack. OK, wait. That doesn’t sound right. It sounded great when I thought it, but now seeing it written out like that? I am surprising Lynn for her birthday with a trip to a place that has their own bison herd that roams the grounds. I can’t wait! I know about health issues so take it easy. I had a bad year in 2015 and am now slowing getting my strength back. Just take it slow and easy. I’ve been working out at the gym 3 times a week just to limber up. Some days I am sore as hell. Other days, nothing. Coming up on a scheduled doctor appointment. Can’t wait to hear what he has to say.

  5. Wonderful shots, Laura. I love, love this area and it’s great you saw the elk. Very cool! Well worth the hike. 🙂 Terrific post.

  6. You know, Laura, your writing here was so good that I almost didn’t need to see the images.
    Almost! 🙂
    Someday I’ll get out to see Point Reyes, but until then, I’ll remember this post.

    • Wow thank you! I’ve been getting a bit more into the writing of my posts so I’m glad it shows. 🙂 Hope you get out some day. Pt. Reyes is slipping into the ocean 2-4″ per year fyi. It slipped 24.5 FEET during the 1906 earthquake. The San Andreas fault runs right down Tomales Bay. Interesting facts I thought. Thank you so much for your comments. 🙂

  7. Wow, beautiful, dramatic coastline.

  8. Terrific shot. I love reading about your trail walks, what beautiful country!

  9. We did a road trip to the California coast in November, two years ago (almost), and I remember seeing signs for Point Reyes as we drove south to SF, but we were on an agenda at that point and didn’t take the detour. Next time I’ll reconsider. What a beautiful place–thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Very beautiful and inspiring landscapes including the elks. #1 is breathtaking and worth the effort to go there. Fantastic view. But looking at your map there should be a lot of options to take awesome photographs. Could you beam me up there, Laura? Take care! Reinhold

  11. Very beautiful post Laura, wish you will remember all the positive, when the body sores 🙂

  12. Oh look at that vast beauty! It makes those deep breaths of effort so worth it. Love the elk photos and the vistas. Glad you were able to make it! 8+ miles is a trek any day. Add in hills and sand and that is challenging. Good for you. Love the coast line too, haven’t made it to Point Reyes yet, know I need to here at some point. Looking forward to it when I do get there. Thanks for the great recap.

    • Vast beauty is a perfect descriptor. It’s such a great feeling! I didn’t quite do the 8 but close. it was a huge anaerobic workout! Needless to say I am totally out of shape lol. I know you’d enjoy this area. 🙂

  13. I love the boldness with which you live life, the photos are just stunning.

  14. Lovely shots Laura! I’ll have to make note to check out Point Reyes next time I make it out to California! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s