Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore

by | Feb 28, 2019

Tomales Point is a headland forming the northwestern tip of Point Reyes Peninsula, about 5.7 air miles (9.2 km) southeast of Bodega Bay, California. The peninsula lies within the Point Reyes National Seashore. Tomales Point is accessible only by hiking 4.3 miles (7 km) along the Tomales Point Trail.

The Point Reyes Peninsula is geologically separated from the mainland by the San Andreas Fault that forms Tomales Bay. The peninsula and western shore of Tomales Bay is on a different tectonic plate than the eastern shore. The fault was identified in 1895 by Andrew Lawson of the University of California Berkeley, who named it after the surrounding San Andreas Valley. The San Andreas is a continental transform fault that extends roughly 750 miles (1,200 km) through California. Its motion is horizontal, and it forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The fault divides into three segments, the northern, central, and southern zones, each with different characteristics and a different degree of earthquake risk. The slip rate along the fault ranges from 0.79 to 1.38 inches (20 to 35 mm) per year.

Although parts of the Point Reyes National Seashore are commercially farmed, and parts are under the jurisdiction of other conservation authorities, the National Park Service manages the entire peninsula and all of Tomales Bay. The small town of Point Reyes Station provides most services for the peninsula, and Olema, about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the National Seashore and hosts the visitor center. Read more here and here. Explore more of Tomales Point and Point Reyes here:

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This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2019 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

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