Point Reyes National Seashore: 20 June 2004

Tomales Point Trail

Latitude: North 38° 11.653’

Longitude: West 122° 57.304’

Photos by Neil Mishalov

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE is located on the coast of northern California, approximately 35 miles north-northwest of San Francisco.The park consists of more than 71,000 acres including 32,000 acres of wilderness area. The Point Reyes Peninsula, which juts into the Pacific Ocean, has long been treacherous for ships traveling to and from San Francisco. One of America’s great coastlines, the estuaries, windswept beaches, coastal grasslands, salt marshes, and coniferous forests combine to create a haven of 80 miles of unspoiled and undeveloped beauty. Point Reyes National Seashore contains unique elements of biological and historical interest in a spectacularly scenic panorama of thunderous ocean breakers, open grasslands, bushy hillsides and forested ridges. Native land mammals number about 37 species and marine mammals augment this total by another dozen species. The biological diversity stems from a favorable location and the natural occurrence of many distinct habitats. Nearly 20% of the State's flowering plant species are represented on the peninsula and over 45% of the bird species in North America have been sighted. The Point Reyes National Seashore was established by President John F. Kennedy on 13 September 1962. In 1984 I participated in the "Point Reyes Trail 50," a 50 mile foot race run on many different trails on the southern portion of Point Reyes. I still remember the race; it was dramatic and exciting. Point Reyes is approximately 60 twisty miles northwest from my home in Berkeley, California.

Here is a LIVE WEB-CAMERA view of a Point Reyes beach looking east-northeast.

Some hike factoids and statistics: Time on the trail: 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Number of hikers: 3. Distance covered: 9.6 miles. Total ascent: 1,350 feet. Maximum elevation: 570 feet. Route: Upper Pierce Ranch => Out and back on Tomales Point Trail=> Upper Pierce Ranch Weather: During the entire hike it was foggy, overcast and cool (50-55 degrees Fahrenheit) with a strong wind (20-25 miles per hour) blowing from the northwest.


All Images and Text Copyright © by Neil Mishalov


Topographic Route Map and Elevation Profile:

Data gathered with a Garmin GPS Map 60C

Topographic mapping program for Macintosh OSX by National Geographic

Click on an image to see the full size picture

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Betsy White hiking through waist high Golden-Pea (Thermopsis macrophylla) Betsy disappears into the field of Golden-Pea We hiked through miles of this magical landscape
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Gene White on the trail Venus Thistle (Cirsium occidentale var. venustum) and Golden-Pea living in harmony Venus Thistle
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A bee gathering nectar from a Venus Thistle A caterpillar and Golden-Pea
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Golden-Pea and California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) On the Tomales Point Trail with Tomales Bluff ahead Tomales Bluff
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Gene White overlooking Tomales Bluff Neil Mishalov on Tomales Bluff Dillon Beach
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Sands Point and Lawsons Landing Preston Point Bird Rock
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Heading back on the Tomales Point Trail The Tomales Point Trail Site of Lower Pierce Ranch
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Bird Rock in the background The rugged coastline of Point Reyes An isolated beach
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The Tomales Point Trail with Gene White cranking on up the trail Point Reyes shoreline Near the end of our hike

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This page created on 23 June 2004, and all photographs copyright 2004, by Neil Mishalov neil@mishalov.com