Recently we got a dog and we’ve been figuring out the best dog-friendly places to bring him on our trips around Point Reyes and West Marin. This dog needs exercise so long walks are certainly in order.
Given how vast the Point Reyes area is, there are actually few places where you can take dogs. However, these places are gorgeous and you and dogs will have many hours of enjoyment in the area.On the map below, the red highlights mark the areas where dogs are allowed. You can click on the red areas to bring up more info. Further below, I will give you my personal experience with some of these areas.
The Great Beach (North Beach and South Beach)
Terrific for long walks. These beaches, esp South, are generally less crowded than the other beaches in the area. Since the beach is on the ocean side, the surf tends to be big here.
A nice 1.2 mile hike to the small-ish beach. If you want a little bit of coastal hiking with some beach walking, this is the one for you.
One of my favorite beaches. The surf is slightly less rough than North and South Beaches because it is on the Drake’s Bay side. Can get crowded on weekends. You will need to park at the smaller parking lot which is about 1/3 mile south of the main lot.
Long, wide beach with the quiet surf of Tomales Bay. Many feel this place is dog heaven. The beach is privately owned so you’ll pay a fee to park on their lot. The beach can also get very crowded on the weekends, but if you prefer the quieter surf and you are near this part of West Marin, your dog will thank you.
Bolinas (Beach & Town)
A native there tells me that dogs own Bolinas! No leash! I couldn’t find any signs that talk about this but on a recent visit on a very busy and warm Saturday, most dogs on the beach and in town were without leashes.
Bolinas Ridge Trial
I don’t experience with dogs here, just mountain biking, so I have no comments now. Will update once I have a chance to bring our dog there.
Stinson Beach (County-Maintained Side Only)
Haven’t brought the dog here either, but love Stinson! Easy surf even though it is on the ocean side. Stinson can get crowded but not sure if the crowds extends to the county-side).
Chicken Ranch Beach
Small beach on Tomales Bay near the town of Inverness. Too small to get any exercise and it can get crowded on a warm weekend day. But if you in town and need to give your dog a quick outing to stretch his or her legs, then by all means….
The National Park Service has a page that talks about their rules: check it out.
Your thoughts and suggestions?