Tomales Bay

100%
Recommendation based
on 33 responses

About Tomales Bay

Description

Ever wanted to kayak into a remote campground? Here is your chance! Tomales Bay is. . . well it’s 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 setup. You’ll have several beach Read more...
Ever wanted to kayak into a remote campground? Here is your chance! Tomales Bay is...well it’s 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 setup. 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 bigger tent, some s’mores, a nice dinner (we recommend fresh oysters from nearby Tomales Bay Oyster Company), and a hunk of 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!
Fires are allowed
Potable water is not available
Pets are not allowed
  • Listing type: Public
  • No. of sites: 25
  • Phone: (415) 464-5100
  • Accessible by: Boat
  • Accommodation: Tent Only

The vibe at Tomales Bay

750
No one? Bueller? Sharing is caring, y'all.
Drop some Tomales Bay knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Sasha

Definitely make sure you leave early in the day. The wind picks up around noon, which (if you're paddling into it) can make your trip take twice as long!

Helpful 9
Helpful 9
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Sasha

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).

Helpful 8
Helpful 8
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Alex

Get your Kayaks from Bluewater- right across the way from Tomales Bay's many camping beaches, make sure to get across the water before the wind picks up!

Helpful 4
Helpful 4
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Jason

Grab a couple bags of Oysters from the Marshall Store (don't forget the Minonet sauce too) and you'll be set! Nothing like shucking Oysters around the campfire!

Helpful 4
Helpful 4
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Becky

For a small extra fee, Bluewater can also bring any excess stuff (i.e. food, drinks, nice cameras) on a motorboat. I also recommend the Marshall Store for oysters!

Helpful 3
Helpful 3
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Sancia

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.

Helpful 2
Helpful 2
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Jacob

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.

Helpful 2
Helpful 2
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Amber

Take an overnight kayaking class at Tomales Bay with REI! rei.com/outdoorschool/160 for full schedule.

Helpful 1
Helpful 1
Remove vote :(
Hipcamper Deanna

I boat-in camped here and rented kayaks from Blue Waters Kayaking. It was beautiful and very calm to paddle out at night

Pros:
- 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

Cons:
- 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

Tips:
- Know the direction of current and always paddle with the current
- Pack-in pack-out (e.g. waste included) sites are less crowded

Hipcamper Deena

be sure to rent your kayaks way in advance, they will sell out!

Hipcamper Julie

Beautiful. Books up fast.

Hipcamper Emily

Leave early! We couldn't pick up our camping/fire permits until the Visitor Center opened (10 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on weekends), so that put us behind schedule and we didn't get on the water until 11:30 a.m. (visitor center is 30 min. from the Miller Launch). It was windy but we made it to Marshall Beach in an hour since we were going with the tide. We had a large group in various kayaks (ocean, lake and blow up). On Sunday morning we woke to STRONG wind. Those in regular kayaks were fine, but those in blow up kayaks couldn't manage and luckily a fishing boat brought them across. Despite that, it was an INCREDIBLE trip and I highly recommend! Bathrooms were clean, it was warm and sunny and the Marshall Beach cove blocked the wind.

Park
Point Reyes National Seashore
State
California
Phone Number
(415) 464-5100
Directions
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
Coordinates
38.18° N, 122.928° W
Unknown price
Boat In: 22 Sites
Unknown price
Boat In - Group: 3 Sites