Ever wanted to kayak into a remote campground? Here is your chance! Tomales Bay is…well its awesome. If you're wanting to camp here, you must reach the campsites by boat (which really does add to the magic of the experience).
If you need a boat, no problem! Check in with our good friends at Blue Water Kayak in Marshall; they'll get you all set up. You'll have several beach campgrounds to choose from and it helps to have a map.
Two of the most popular are at Marshall and Tomales Beaches. Don't worry, it's only a 1-hour paddle from the Marshall starting point). One of the greatest things about paddling in is that you can load your kayak up with anything that wouldn't fit in your backpack! So, bring along the big tent, some smores, and a nice dinner. (We recommend fresh oysters from nearby Tomales Bay Oyster Company). Don't forget the firewood (just make sure to pick up your fire permit from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.) You're guaranteed to have a grand ol time!
Offered near the campground.
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Natural features you'll find at Tomales Bay.
The vibe at Tomales Bay
Drop some Tomales Bay knowledge on us.
Large groups can only camp at Marshall or Tomales Beach. Both have vault toilets, and Marshall is closer, but Tomales has two picnic tables. Head there unless your want to a) bring your own table, or b) don't care about sand in your food (it's inevitable).
Leave early if you have kayakers with less experience. The wind an be really intense! Marshall beach is nice with bathrooms and a nice 1 mile + hike to the neighboring beach and back. Very beautiful trip we had a blast.
We camped in Tomales during bioluminescence. They were only visible in the dark, when the water was disturbed, so we did a night paddle that was absolutely epic. The wake of our kayaks and paddles were glowing electric green. Highly recommend it.
I boat-in camped here and rented kayaks from Blue Waters Kayaking. It was beautiful and very calm to paddle out at night
- It's right on the lake. The stars are amazing
- During season there's bioluminescence
- You can paddle up and get fresh oysters at Tomales Bay Oyster Co
- It's popular and there are a lot of people during the summer
- Kayak rentals are expensive because it's popular. I rented from Blue Water Kayaks. Would be cheaper to bring your own
- Know the direction of current and always paddle with the current
- Pack-in pack-out (e.g. waste included) sites are less crowded