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Wreck of the S.S. Point Reyes.

Wreck of the S.S. Point Reyes

Field review by the editors.

Inverness, California

Approaching Inverness, we're suddenly caught in a powerful roadside rip tide, one that drags us toward a FOMO/selfie magnet known as the "S.S. Point Reyes."

Wreck of the S.S. Point Reyes.

(Or the "Tomales Bay Shipwreck." Whatever.)

We park in the back of the Inverness Store lot and spot a familiar fishing boat in the distance, askew on a sandbar.

It's 80 years old, falling apart... "iconic."

We've seen this shipwreck before, in travel photo sites and social feeds.

The S.S. Point Reyes doesn't have a very exciting history: It started as a launch for transporting military personnel between San Francisco and World War II warships, then spent decades doing commercial salmon fishing. A Tomales Bay area resident eventually acquired the ship to fix up in Inverness. During a storm, it meandered onto the sandbar, and never left.

The beaching now seems fortuitous, creating an enduring photo opportunity. It's marooned close to the only road to the far reaches of Point Reyes National Seashore, so millions of tourists and daytrippers can stop!

We walk out to the ship (which may at times be less accessible, depending on the tide). The money shot, facing the starboard bow at a slight angle, is the only view that actually works. Any variation, and the tragic poignancy of the little wreck is ruined and won't match 20 million other photos already online.

To fully appreciate your narrow range of creative options, step around to the stern. In 2016, careless photographers augmented it with backdrop fireworks (so that their photos wouldn't be EXACTLY THE SAME as everyone else's) and caused the S.S. Point Reyes to burst into flames. The local fire department extinguished the blaze, leaving the ship charred and damaged. In 2024, storms and age had deteriorated the ship into an even more jumbled pile of splinter and lockjaw opportunities.

Note: depending on season, weather, and time of day, your photos may vary. Slightly.

Wreck of the S.S. Point Reyes

12783 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Inverness, CA
On the east side of Sir Francis Drake Blvd at Alder Ln and Inverness Way.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Cypress Tree TunnelCypress Tree Tunnel, Inverness, CA - 5 mi.
1906 Earthquake Trail1906 Earthquake Trail, Point Reyes Station, CA - 5 mi.
Elephant RockElephant Rock, Dillon Beach, CA - 12 mi.
In the region:
Blackie, Horse That Never Moved, Tiburon, CA - 24 mi.

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