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One of the best ways to see the Point Reyes Peninsula is to camp on it. Unfortunately, there are no campgrounds in the national seashore that you can drive right into. Several hike-in wilderness camps exist in the main part of the park for those who want to backpack into their campspots, but we suggest that you consider kayak camping. The part of Point Reyes National Seashore that is on Tomales Bay is sheltered from the wind and the waves that pound the western side of the peninsula. Along this protected shoreline there are 17 designated camping beaches. All of these beaches are boat-in only except for Marshall Beach which can be reached by a 1.25 mile hike. But if you want to camp there, you have to get there by boat.

Kayaking to these beaches requires a permit from the National Park Service, but it is otherwise very easy to do. We suggest reserving the campsites ahead of time as they are limited and quite popular as this area isn’t far from the Bay Area.

IMG_0321-kayaking-camping-tomales-bay (Custom)

If you have your own kayaks or a boat then you can launch at one of three places that allow overnight parking. The first is Miller Boat Launch at Nick’s Cove which is centrally located on the east side of the bay near the town of Marshall. If you want to camp at the northernmost beaches then consider launching at Lawson’s Landing which is in the small town of Dillon Beach. The final option, Tomales Bay Resort, is great for the southern beaches as it is located in Inverness.

If you don’t have your own watercrafts or can’t get them to the bay, then consider renting from Blue Waters Kayaking. They have two locations on Tomales Bay, Blue Waters Inverness and Blue Waters Marshall. They offer many different guided tours, including sunset and full moon tours, and rent single and double kayaks for up to 48 hours for those who want to venture out sans tour guide.

Tomales Bay State Park is just south of all of these beaches and is open 8 a.m. to sunset daily for kayak day trips. Overnight parking and camping is not allowed in the state park.

Above is a map showing the beaches on the west side of Tomales Bay and below is a list of the beaches from south to north.