Description

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!

Campsite area
Tent sites
25 sites
Up to 14 guests per site
Boat
No wheelchair access
Essentials
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Amenities
Picnic table available

Activities

Offered near the campground.

Biking

Another great way to see Point Reyes National Seashore is via bicycle. The area provides a variety of off-road biking opportuni...Read more

Boating

For those of you who would rather travel on water than land, Tomales Beach is the perfect place to dock! Here you can participa...Read more

Fishing

Point Reyes is surrounded by the beautiful and abundant Pacific Ocean, making it a great spot for fishermen. Over 130 differen...Read more

Hiking

The National Seashore has about 150 miles of magnificent hiking trails to explore and run around. Just check out some of the ...Read more

Horseback riding

With over 120 miles of trails that take you through forested mountain tops, grassy meadows, coastal scrub and miles of white sa...Read more

Paddling

Feel like playing with some seals or dipping your paddle into clean waters full of glowing bioluminescence ? Well, this is th...Read more

Wind sports

Point Reyes gets a significant amount of wind and is often a viable option for kiteboarding. Just be sure to check up on the s...Read more

Surfing

Point Reyes has some quality surfing options for the more intermediate-advanced surfer. There’s less crowds up here (I’m sure t...Read more

Swimming

Bass Lake is located 2.8 (fairly easy) miles in from the parking lot at Point Reyes park. This popular swimming spot is warm (...Read more

Wildlife watching

Jutting 16 kilometers (10 miles) into the Pacific Ocean, the headlands of the Point Reyes Peninsula offer one of the finest sp...Read more

Terrain

Natural features you'll find at Tomales Bay Campground.

Beach
Cave
Forest
Lake
Waterfall
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14 Reviews

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Drop some Tomales Bay Campground knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Madison
Madison K.
recommends this listing.
July 2nd, 2018

We launched our kayaks from Chicken Ranch and it took a little under 2 hours in moderate conditions. Totally worth it! Scored a beautiful spot on Marshall's Beach, which has bathrooms and garbage disposal.

Didn't get a chance to check out the bioluminescence so I'll have to come back.

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Hipcamper Hayley
Hayley Y.
didn't provide a recommendation.
January 1st, 2018

We camped on a cool-ish, overcast day in May. Picked up our kayak from Bluewater, packed our camping gear and firewood (plus permits and bear cans), and headed a few miles out to find our own private beach for the night. The guy we picked up the kayaks from helped us figure out which beach to go to. We brought food and beer and sat by the fire all night, taking in the beautiful views and the sound of being right on the water. Definitely a must-do in the Point Reyes area.

Got our fire permit to warm up the cold-ish early-May campsiteThis campsite is beautiful. Kayaked in for the night to our own beach. Incredible. Hung out buy the campfire all night, sipping on beer cooled by the cold ocean.
Hipcamper Emily
Emily S.
didn't provide a recommendation.
June 23rd, 2017

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.

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Hipcamper Julie
Julie B.
recommends this listing.
May 22nd, 2017

Beautiful. Books up fast.

Hipcamper Deena
Deena R.
recommends this listing.
March 29th, 2017

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

Hipcamper Deanna
Deanna L.
didn't provide a recommendation.
May 10th, 2016

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 Jacob
Jacob B.
didn't provide a recommendation.
January 1st, 2016

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.

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Hipcamper Jason
Jason M.
didn't provide a recommendation.
July 8th, 2015

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!

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Hipcamper Sancia
Sancia F.
didn't provide a recommendation.
June 5th, 2015

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.

Park
Point Reyes National Seashore
State
California
Country
United States
Phone Number
(415) 464-5100
Directions
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
Coordinates
38.18° N, 122.928° W
Unknown price
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Unknown price
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(Up to 25 people per site)