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 Campground.
Drop some Tomales Bay Campground knowledge on us.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Phone Number
- (415) 464-5100
- View on Google Maps
- Official Website
- View Website
- 38.18° N, 122.928° W
- Unknown price
- Boat In: 22 Sites (Up to 14 people per site)
- Unknown price
- Boat In - Group: 3 Sites (Up to 25 people per site)