Tomales Bay & Lake Sonoma

We have many options to
help with your boat-in camping adventure:

~Overnight Kayak & SUP Rentals on Tomales Bay

~Tomales Bay & Lake Sonoma Guided Camping Tours 

~Overnight Kayak, Canoe, & SUP Rentals on Lake Sonoma 

Gear Shuttle Service Available for tours  & rental groups with 12-25 people on Tomales Bay (based on availability)
Want to camp with a group over 25 people or with your dog? Maybe you want to spend more time swimming in the sun and hiking, can’t arrive until the afternoon, or just want more room for camping gear by using a canoe?  Then check out our close by Lake Sonoma Adventures program!  Only 20 minutes more of driving time from the Golden Gate Bridge compared to Tomales Bay.


The last Tomales Bay rentals go on the water at 2pm in the winter.

Tomales Bay typically gets higher winds after 12pm, so early rentals are suggested.

We ask all groups to carpool.  The Bear Valley Visitor Center (where you pick up your permit) is a convenient location to carpool from for your camping adventure.

 Inverness Location

Weekends can be busy, so reservations are suggested

24 HRS

24 HRS

w/ Late Return

48 HRS









 Kayak Camping on Tomales Bay 

Enjoy the Sublime Natural World Just One Hour North of San Francisco!

beach-camp-sceneImagine camping on a beautiful beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore – one that can only be reached by water. Tomales Bay has a number of these remote beaches where camping is permitted and which are located within a short paddle from Blue Waters.

We offer a variety of guided services to help make your kayak camping adventure a success such as catered camping trips, team building events, and motorboat support (where we shuttle your gear to your beach to make your experience so much easier). Unfortunately this service is only available for guided tours starting 2017.

Sit-on-tops (the primary rental boats) do not carry much gear, so overnight kayak rentals should pack no more gear than would be brought on a backpacking trip.  For help with planning your adventure check out the “Know Before You Go” information and the Tomales Bay Beach Map below as well as our FAQ page for ideas on what to bring with!

All groups on Tomales Bay are limited in size to 25 people maximum per the National Seashore.  Options for groups up to 150 people are available at Lake Sonoma.  (Call 415.669.2600 or check out our Lake Sonoma Adventures page for more details)

*NOTE: Parking is very limited on Tomales Bay so everyone is strongly encouraged to carpool whenever possible

~ Check out our Tomales Bay Beach Map and our “Know Before You Go” facts at the bottom of the page ~

Bioluminescence & Moonlight Camping Tours Every Saturday

$215/ person 

(includes bioluminescence or moonlight tour from camp)

11am (Saturday) – 11am (Sunday)

Tomales Bay Camping Permits are EXTREMELY LIMITED, and sell out as early as 6 months in advance. Accordingly, we have developed a group camping program which groups of 10 or less are invited to join. (Private camps can be set up for larger groups on any day by calling in)  We set up a waterside camp that is reached by a 2-3 mile scenic paddle, equipped with tables, camp chairs, camp stove, firewood for one fire, fresh water, and staffed by our capable and friendly kayak guides.  All that you need to bring is your FOOD for the trip, tent, sleeping bag/ pad, and anything else you would like to have on your adventure.  Arrive at 10am, load your gear on to our motorboat, and then enjoy the beautiful paddle to your campsite with your knowledgeable guides.

pam_tentOn all our group camps, your guide and camp host will lead guided tours from camp for anyone who wants to explore Tomales Bay after the sun goes down.  On dark nights we’ll explore the shoreline and be thrilled by the natural light show in the water that is bioluminescence, and on moonlit nights we’ll paddle in the glow of glorious moonlight and stars. (There is still a slight chance to see bioluminescence on these moonlit nights if the fog comes in) Both are wonderful and exciting experiences! In both cases, your night will end with you sleeping peacefully at the waters edge.

*There will camps on two consecutive nights for Memorial Day and 4th of July weekends: Saturday and Sunday.  You can arrange to stay for one or both nights.

Day 1

  • 11AM – Arrive at Miller Boat Launch, and meet your guides. (Parking at Miller Boat Launch is limited on weekends, so carpooling and arriving early is strongly suggested) – Unload your camping gear to be taken over on our motorboat, park your vehicle, get oriented to your gear, and load your kayaks with whatever you would like for the paddle over. (full water bottle, snacks, sunblock, waterproof camera, ect)
  • 11:30-1PM -Enjoy a beautiful paddle over to your campsite with our fun and knowledgeable guides.
  • 1pm-Dark – Once we arrive at our beach we will set up our base camp & kitchen, which will be available to use at your leasure throughout the trip.  Ater lunch you will have free time to enjoy the beach and the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Explore the coastline by kayak, take a hike up the ridge, read a book, take a nap, swim….there are so many options.  
  • After Dark (time will change depending on the time of year) – Night Paddle from the beach.

Day 2

  • 9AM – Our motor boat will arrive at the beach to load our camping gear to be brought back to Miller Boat Launch.
  • 10AM – The group will paddle back together to Miller Boat Launch, and we will be done by 11am
(Times are approximate, and may change due to weather conditions, activity at the public boat ramp, or other unforeseen circumstances)
~This tour needs a minimum of 6 participants to go~


~All camping on Tomales Bay requires a permit from  (we provide the permit for our Guided Camping Tours)

~You must pick up your permit at the Bear Valley Visitor Center the morning of your adventure if you are renting to go camping on your own. This is also when and where you will acquire your fire permit if they are issuing them. (There are no burn days on Tomales Bay where you can’t make a fire, but you can use a camp stove)

~All groups are limited in size on Tomales Bay to 25 people maximum per the National Seashore.  Options are available at Lake Sonoma for groups of 20 – 150 people overnight.  (Call 415.669.2600 or check out our Lake Sonoma Group Camping page for more details)

~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 instead.

~Winds can pick up in the afternoons, so launching before 12pm is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED (36 hour rentals may not be available due to 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.  You must bring any wood with you for campfires.  Only Pine and Almond are allowed to be burned.  (We provide a propane fire pit that can be used all year around on our Guided Camping Tours)

~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.  Know the tides and weather for the days you will be on the water.


~Parking is extremely limited and there is a charge for overnight parking.  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

Check out our 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 GoogleMaps.~

BLUE TAG: Blue Waters Kayaking’s Launch Locations

GREEN TAG: 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



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A few photos from past BWK events