Kayaking Tomales Bay from Chicken Ranch

GPS Track for this Route

We decided to prepare for our Channel Islands Kayaking trip by doing an overnighter in Tomales Bay.  We started from the beach at Chicken Ranch (free overnight parking) and paddled out to Hog Island, exploring the beautiful Western Shoreline of Tomales Bay.  You are only allowed to camp in certain locations with a permit – but your locations are even more restricted if you don’t want to pack our your bodily waste.  As such, we decided to camp at Tomales Beach – which was a very nice place to stay.  It is the only camping location in Tomales Bay that has bathrooms.  You need to pack out your poo if you decide to camp at any other beach.  For more information on where to camp / day use / land from the National Park Site for the Point Reyes National Seashore.  This is a wonderful place near the San Francisco Bay area to paddle your kayak.  There are few places nearby that are this pristine – so let’s help keep it clean and open!  If you don’t own a kayak, you can easily rent at Blue Water Kayaks, which is located at Chicken Ranch.

I have paddled Tomales Bay many, many times.  The pictures included here are from a few different trips.

Boat Stuck in Mud at Tomales Bay

In Tomales Bay, it is often overcast - but the scenery is still stunning!

In Tomales Bay, it is often overcast – but the scenery is still stunning!

It is easy to land in several locations along the length of Tomales Bay

It is easy to land in several locations along the length of Tomales Bay

There is only one location where you can camp that has bathrooms.  This is the view from that camp.

There is only one location where you can camp that has bathrooms. This is the view from that camp.

There is a sheltered landing for the camping at

There is a sheltered landing for the camping at

You are very likely to see Great Blue Herons on this route.

You are very likely to see Great Blue Herons on this route.

There are vestiges of old buildings along the West shore of Tomales Bay

There are vestiges of old buildings along the West shore of Tomales Bay

Night view from camp

Night view from camp

It is amazing to me how precisely the gulls can fly over the waves without getting hit by the water.

It is amazing to me how precisely the gulls can fly over the waves without getting hit by the water.

Sandpipers

Old dock at inner Tomales Bay

Old dock at inner Tomales Bay

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