Tomales Bay Overnight Adventure

Trip Overview

Tomales Bay is a paddler’s dream. With pristine water, beautiful scenery, and plentiful wildlife, your group will experience first hand this remarkable jewel of west Marin County. During this trip, your group will first learn the basics of kayaking, then paddle to our beach camp for an afternoon of exploring and an evening spent under the stars. The next day we’ll enjoy a morning paddle to end our memorable trip on Tomales Bay. This trip is great for novice to advanced paddlers of varying abilities and backgrounds.

Arrive and Meet your ETC Guides
After arriving at Heart’s Desire Beach in Tomales Bay State Park, your trip will begin with an opening circle, giving ETC’s guides an opportunity to meet your group and orient them to the plan for the adventure.

Gear and Paddling Instruction
Next, ETC’s guides will give your group instructions on paddling, safety, and how to pack all our overnight gear and food into the kayaks. If there are participants with special needs, guides will work with them to adapt their kayak and paddling gear for comfort and ease.

The Adventure Begins
With the kayaks packed and everyone ready to paddle, we will begin our journey along the beautiful Tomales Bay shoreline. Along the way you will learn about this unique estuarine environment, with the San Andreas Fault line right down the middle of the bay. While paddling as a team we will encounter some of the bay’s resident birds such as cormorants, egrets, and heron. We might even get lucky and see a bat ray or leopard shark! We will arrive at either Marshall or Tomales Beach to have lunch and set up our camp for the night(s). Both beaches have pit toilets and garbage facilities. We will engage in some group environmental education activities with time to just be and take in the beauty of it all.

Camping and Evening Activities
After a communal dinner, we can play games, share an inspirational reading or poem, or just relax by the campfire and gaze up at the night sky. There are also opportunities to go for a short hike to watch the sunset over the Pacific or to go on a night kayak to witness the beautiful bioluminescence as our paddles create silver green galaxies in the water. Then it’s off to slumber in our tents or out in the open with the night sky as our roof. What a way to drift into dreamland!

Day Two and The Return
On our second morning we will wake up and have a nourishing breakfast, before packing up our belongings, breaking camp and cleaning up the beach to leave it better than we found it. Next, it’s time for a safety refresher before paddling back on the serene morning waters to Heart’s Desire Beach where we began our journey. What a perfect name for a beach after this sweet adventure! We’ll have lunch together and then as a team we’ll help put the kayaks and gear away. In classic ETC style, we’ll wrap up our adventure with a closing circle to share the highlights of our shared journey.


Trip Details

Trip Cost:
Please contact the Sea Kayak Program Manager at 415-474-7662 ext. 13 or to discuss pricing for your school or agency.

At ETC, we believe that everyone, regardless of financial limitations, should be able to experience the beauty of nature and the challenge of outdoor adventure. We have a limited scholarship budget should a group not be able to afford the above prices. To apply for a scholarship, please complete a Scholarship Application.

ETC is committed to making outdoor adventures accessible to people with special needs, and our guides are experienced in making adaptations for a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities. If you have questions about accessibility, please contact the River Program Manager.


Scheduling and Other Resources

ETC offers Sea Kayak trips year round, with the majority of trips occurring between April and mid November. Please contact the Sea Kayak Program Manager at 415-474-7662 ext. 13 or to discuss available dates.

Resources for Groups:

Complete Trip Packet
Health and Liability Form
Driving Directions: Tomales Bay
Equipment List: Overnight Trip
Trip Pricing