Tomales Bay Camping

Kayak Camping on Tomales Bay is the perfect way to get to know the Point Reyes National Seashore on a deeper level. Tomales Bay is renowned for some of the best coastal kayak camping in California, and we have been helping plan paddle based trips here for over 35 years. No matter what your skill level, we have multiple options for your next adventure:

Check out the Point Reyes National Seashore’s Guide to low impact camping before you go:

Check out this article about Tomales Bay Kayak Camping


~All camping on Tomales Bay requires a permit from  (Blue Waters Kayaking provides permits for our Public Escorted Camping Tours)

~If you are renting to go camping on your own, you are asked to bring a print-out of your Camping Permit Confirmation from

~Beach campfire permits are issued at the Bear Valley Visitor Center in person and are required to be picked up the day of your departure.

~Saturdays can be very busy on Tomales Bay.  You will typically see fewer people if you choose to camp midweek or on a Friday or Sunday night instead.

~Winds can pick up in the afternoons, so launching before 12pm is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED (36 hour rentals may not be available if there are inclement weather conditions)

~There is no potable water on Tomales Bay.  You must bring all of your water.  (1 gallon per person/ per day is recommended) 

~There is no collecting of firewood on Tomales Bay.  When campfires are allowed, you will need to bring wood with you for campfires.  It is always recommended to “buy it where you burn it” to reduce on the spread of invasive insects and diseases. (Suggestions say you can bring clean, inspected wood that has been cut down within 50 miles of where you will have your fire)

~Marshall Beach and Tomales Beach are the only beaches with public restrooms.  All other beaches require you to bring some kind of portable restroom system.  (We sell wag bags on site and there is no digging of catholes allowed.)

~Most beaches are extremely tidally dependent and will disappear at tides above 5ft.  Know the tides and weather for the days you will be on the water.


~Parking is extremely limited.  Blue Waters Kayaking asks all our guests to carpool whenever possible.



~For all rentals children must weigh at least 50 lbs and be older than 5 years old.

~Before you launch check out the Guide to Low Impact Boat Camping from the Point Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Bay Beach & Launch Locations Map

~If you are on a phone and having trouble viewing this map,
click on the icon in the upper right hand corner of the map to view this map on Google Maps.~

GREEN BOATING ICON: Public Launch Location 

ORANGE TAG: Boat-in Camping Beach

YELLOW TAG: Boat-in Camping Beach w/ Seasonal Closure

GREY TAG: Boat-in Camping Beach w/ Public Restroom

PURPLE TAG: Day Use Beach

RED TAG: Do Not Land



Please understand that when a reservation is made with Blue Waters Kayaking, it is a commitment on our part to hold seats in a kayak for you. This often involves considerable work on our part to make sure that the right equipment is ready for you at the right place and time. We can (and often do) turn away others from that particular date (or trip). If you decide to cancel, it can be difficult for us to book someone else on that trip, and in some cases may cause a trip to be cancelled due to the effect on minimum group size requirements. With this in mind, we have implemented the following cancellation policy:

  • All reservations are subject to a 5% non-refundable handling fee at the time of booking.
  • Up to 7 days prior to the event: Full refunds of any fees paid will be given during this time period, minus the5% non-refundable handling fee. There is no charge for rescheduling during this time period.
  • 7 days prior to the event: Your reservation is considered final, and all fees are due and payable. Unpaid credit card deposits will be charged. After this time no money will be refunded
  • Within 7 days (including the day of the event): all cancellations and no shows will be charged in full with no refunds or reschedules unless due to inclement weather. (see below)

We attempt in all cases to determine prior to your tour launch if weather will impede your trip. However, there are rare occasions where we have launched and weather patterns change suddenly at which time we must return to shore.

In this case the following policies apply and each patron is responsible to contact the office to make arrangements.

~~Where tour is cancelled after we already launched the kayaks and must return to shore within the first-hour patrons can:

  • Reschedule with a future trip
  • Receive a 50% refund

~~Where tour is cancelled before we have launched the kayaks patrons can:

  • Reschedule the same trip for a future date (at no cost)
  • Cancel completely. Each patron is responsible to contact the office to make arrangements. In the event you choose to cancel you will receive a full refund minus the 5% handling fee.