Tomales Bay Beach Getaway

Every year I take a fall trip out to Point Reyes National Seashore. This year, rather than backpacking into one of the coastal campgrounds, I decided to try and kayak in to Marshall Beach and see the bioluminescent algae at night. Reservations for any campsite at Point Reyes can be made up to six months in advance, starting at 8:00 a.m. via I highly recommend booking out at the six month mark, particularly if you are aiming for a coveted weekend spot.

I reserved a kayak from Blue Waters Kayaking, intending to leave from their site in Marshall on the opposite side of the bay from Marshall Beach. The idea was to kayak in, spend the night and take out the kayak after dark to see the algae. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans – and due to high winds, we were unable to pickup our kayak.


Afternoon oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company. Photo credit: Lisette

With the afternoon now free, we decided to get some oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company, enjoy the view and figure out our backup plan. We decided to hike into the beach and take the risk of leaving our car out overnight with a note explaining our situation and our camping reservation number. Although I would not recommend doing this, it worked for us as a backup plan.


The view from our tent at Marshall Beach. Photo credit: Lisette

Hiking in to Marshall Beach was about 1.5 miles of easy trail, that got a bit steep at the end. The beach is beautiful, pristine and has vault toilets and garbage cans for you to use. We picked up a fire permit, so we were able to build a wonderful fire and enjoy s’mores by the starlight. It might not have been exactly what I had planned, but I’d recommend getting out to Tomales Bay any way you can. I’ll certainly be going back to attempt kayaking (again) in the near future.

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