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Point Reyes National Seashore

Use the park page to learn about local hiking, nature, trailheads, trail and route maps, and groups that meet here. If you know something about this area. Please feel welcome to write about it here.

General Information

Point Reyes National Seashore is a 70,000-acre preserve that has about 150 miles of hiking trails. Point Reyes National Seashore was preserved to protect wilderness, natural ecosystems, and cultural resources along the diminishing undeveloped coastline of the western United States.

Trailheads

Trailhead Name: Tomales Point trailhead

Trailhead Description: From Sir Francis Drake Blvd north, turn right on Pierce Point road. Drive 9.2 miles. Turn right at the fork. (The left road descends to McClures beach parking lot where restrooms are available).

Parking is available at this trailhead

Parking spots: 20

Parking is NOT free at this trailhead

Access to trail is NOT wheelchair accessible

Restrooms available: YES

Trailhead Name: Sky Trail

Trailhead Description: Ridge trail in Point Reyes

Parking is available at this trailhead

Parking spots: 10

Parking is NOT free at this trailhead

Access to trail is NOT wheelchair accessible

Restrooms available: YES

Trailhead Name: Limantour Beach East Lot

Trailhead Description: Limantour Beach East Parking Lot, not the main parking lot.

Parking availability at this trailhead is unknown

Parking spots: 50

Parking is free at this trailhead

Access to trail is NOT wheelchair accessible

Restrooms available: YES

Routes and Trails You Can Travel

Route Name: Tomales Point trail

Route Description: 9.5 miles roundtrip. Gently rolling terrain. Easy to follow route, no turns. Trail is well-maintained for the first 3 miles. The last 1.7 milesGreat views of the ocean. Bird rock. Elks. Wildflowers (Coast Bush Lupin, Wild Radish, California poppy, Douglas Iris). No Shade. Can be windy/foggy. Historical Pierce ranch at the trailhead.

Distance: 4.68

Total elevation gain: 488

Total elevation loss: 774

Route Name: Limantour Beach to Sculptured Beach, Secret Beach, and Pt Resistance.

Route Description: Limantour Beach to Pt Resistance and back.

Distance: 6.57

Total elevation gain: 261

Total elevation loss: 264

Hiking

The most popular and well-known hiking trail in Point Reyes is the Bear Valley Trail. The Bear Valley trail starts off at the visitor center and leads the hikers along a stream through a canyon. The trails then takes the hikers through a meadow called the Divide Meadow and then slopes gently downward to the coast and the unreal ocean view at Arch Rock.

A historical and education trail is the Earthquake Trail which is a small 0.6 mile loop that runs directly over the San Andreas Fault. Along the trail, hikers can see descriptions of the fault and the surrounding geology. A relic from the huge 1906 San Francisco Earthquake is a fence that was pulled 18 feet apart during the tremor. This is one of only two possible hikes in the Bay Area where you can experience the San Andreas Fault. The other hike park is in the Peninsula, south of San Francisco at Los Trancos Open Space Preserve.

Another attraction at Point Reyes is the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse that was built low to get the light below the fog that is so prevalent in the area. Nearby is the short Chimney Rock hike, full of spring wildflower displays.

There are also many beach walks along Point Reyes. Limantour Spit trail winds up on a narrow sandy beach, from which Drakes Beach can be glimpsed across Drakes Bay.

Trails


  • Woodpecker Trail (0.7 mi) - loop trail through local forest and meadow ecosystems of Bear Valley

  • Limantour Spit Trail (2 mi) - bird-watching trail leading along the crest of Limantour Spit. Hikers can also spot seals in the water. The hike start at the Limantour Beach parking lot.

  • Chimney Rock Trail (1.6 mi) - spectacular hike with views of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean from steep and rocky cliffs.

  • Kehoe Beach Trail (1.2 mi) - flat trail that starts at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and leads through Kehoe Marsh and out to Kehoe Beach. Hikers can sometimes see cows, rabbits, bobcats and mountain lions on the trails. The Kehoe Beach trail is the only trail at Pt. Reyes where dogs are permitted.

  • McClures Beach Trail (0.8 mi) - difficult hike down a ravine to the rocky McClures Beach and the ocean. This hike starts at the end of the Pierce Point Road.

  • Divide Meadow (3.2 mi) - easy walk through Douglas Fir tree forest and along Bear Valley Creek to an open grassy meadow.

  • Mt. Wittenberg Loop (5 mi) - A steep 1300 feet climb to the highest point in the park with views of the Seashore and Olema Valley

  • Coastal Laguna Loop (5mi) - easy hike through coastal scrub and grassland with amazing views of the Pacific Ocean.

  • Abbotts Lagoon (3 mi) - easy hike through open trails along the Pacific Ocean coast.

  • Bear Valley Loop (10.5 mi) - hike with many different views and terrains that winds through Mixed Douglas Fir forest, and open grass meadows with coastal views and beach access.

  • Arch Rock from Bear Valley (8.2 mi) - the most popular and well-known trail in Point Reyes. This trail is a direct walk to the ocean from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. It is pleasant and takes the hikers through a forest and along Bear Valley Creek.

  • Tomales Point Trail (9.5 mi) - an open trail through the Tule Elk Reserve with views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and far into the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the best trails to see wildlife as the tule elk are enclosed in this reserve. The first 3 miles are easy to hike, but as the hike continues, the terrain becomes more crowded with bushes and shrubbery
  • Climate and Weather

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    History

    Pt. Reyes is maintained by the US National Park Service. In 1962, a US Congressman from Marin County named Clem Miller,wrote and introduced the bill for the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore in order to protect the peninsula from residential and business development. The idea for protecting Pt. Reyes seashore was to save the natural habitat of many plants and animals.

    Phillip Burton wrote the legislation creating the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and was a big part of the California Wilderness Act of 1984. More than 30,000 acres of Point Reyes National Seashore are designated as the Phillip Burton Wilderness in his honor.

    The Point Reyes peninsula is geologically isolated from the rest of Marin County. Since it is quite isolated, much of its vegetation and nature is quite different from surrounding parks and the rest of Marin County. The tiny town of Olema, about three miles south of Point Reyes Station, serves as the gateway to the Seashore and its visitor center.

    Wildlife

    The Pt.Reyes peninsula includes wild coastal beaches and headlands, and many miles of beautiful coastline overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Some of the animals that can be seen at Point Reyes are wild elk, many different birds that thrive in shore environments. A seasonal treat and a popular local attraction is whale-watching for the Gray Whales migrating south in mid-January and north in mid-March.

    Some of the animals that live at Point Reyes are seals, sea lions, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, deer and elk. Smaller animals include raccoons, foxes, red-sided garter snake, skunks, gapers (the little animals who create little holes in the ground and sometimes peek out of them) and squirrels. Some of the smaller residents of the park are Banana Slugs, the California red-legged frog, tree frogs, and little salamander lizards.

    Some of the birds at the seashore include Pelicans, Surf Scoters, scavenger gulls, snowy plovers, sandpipers, willets, murres, sanderlings, surfperch, Osprey, cormorants, snowy egrets, California quail, Anna's hummingbird,and great blue herons, murres, grebes, and other seabirds. There are ducks like the mallard, green-winged teal, loons, grebes, scaup, and northern shoveler. Other birds are turkey vultures.

    Some of the types of vegetation are American dune grass, sand verbena, saltbush, beach strawberry, dune lupine, and beach morning glory. Some of the bushes and shrubs at Point Reyes are coyote brush, poison oak, bush lupine, blue blossom, and huckleberry. Other flowers at the preserve are the ever-popular California Poppies, Indian Paintbrush flowers, Douglas Iris, and monkeyflower.

    Common Point Reyes trees are Douglas firs, bishop pine, live oak, and bay laurel.

    Birds

    Riprarian means being along a stream or beside a stream. Riparian corridors are the plants that live along streams or water areas. Some of the plants are yellow willows, blackberries, stinging nettle, horsetails, miner's lettuce, and red alders. These plants need more moisture for their roots. And the constant wet environment of riparian corridors are perfect for them.

    Trees

    There are so many different types of trees at Point Reyes, but I am not sure I ever saw any Redwoods.

    Flowers

    Other Plants

    Camping Possibilities

    Other Information

    Parking

    Driving Directions

    1 Bear Valley Rd Point
    Reyes Sta, CA 94956-9799
    Phone: (415) 663-1200

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Hiking or Walking Groups Nearby

Group Name: test

Group Description: test

Group Name: Jill and Sula's Hiking Group

Group Description: Fun, social, urban hikes that end in a pub.

Group Name: GRN Hike

Group Description: Hiking!

Group Name: Sacramento Backpacking

Group Description: Sacramento-area based group with a preference for multiple-day excursions into the backcountry.

Group Name: Hiking Pacifica Coast

Group Description: Hiking in Pacifica. Splendid views on a sunny day. Hikes range 4 to 7 miles - some elevation (up to 625). Eat/drink at local places.

Group Name: Sonoma County Wanderers

Group Description: This is a hiking group for the intermediate hiker! For a hiker that enjoys a relaxed pace, conversation, picture taking and the journey as much as the destination. We usually do between 4 and 10 miles with moderate elevation gain.
Come join us!

Group Name: Milpitas Social Group

Group Description: This group is for all ages!! We do things from San Francisco to Santa Barbara and occasionally all the way to Los Angeles. Dinners, pot lucks, hikes, walks, bikes, camping, happy hours, treat yourself to a massage/spa treatment. Run into old friend! Everybody has to eat and exercise sometime – might as well do it in good company of others. As we see it, one of the reasons to create this group is for singles of all ages to get together and have fun. Struggling with Divorce? Meet other persons who are either anticipating or are in the midst of divorce, custody, or support-related issues and need some direction. Just broke up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Well join the group! …or just killing times until Mr/Ms. "RIGHT" comes along! To those newly singled and are yet unsure what they want to do with their lives. We suggest a period of experimental single of growth where you can try a variety of new things, new friends, new attitudes etc... You just need to find what ....

Group Name: Muir Woods and Marin Hiking

Group Description: hiking in Muir Woods and other nearby areas. There is even a trail with a small bar at the end of it - join us!

Group Name: Before Work Hiking

Group Description: This is a group for short morning hikes

Group Name: Roam the Woods: Women Specific Backpacking

Group Description: Get Trail Smart! Roam offers one and two week backpacking learning vacations for women. We utilize National Parks and Wilderness areas across the U.S. as our "classroom". Have you ever wanted to see glacier fed lakes, long distance trails, dormant volcanoes, waterfalls, lush meadows, mountain streams, awe inspiring peaks…and have the confidence to accept every lesson Mother Nature provides? Roam will show you the way! Visit: www.roamthewoods.com for more information

Group Name: North Bay Hikes

Group Description: We are Santa Rosa-based, most outings are in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties. Mostly hiking, some paddling, camping, biking etc. See pictures and a list of past outings on our website. Click "Join NorthBayHikes.com" to sign up for email invitations to our outings.

Group Name: Amazon HIking and Adventure Group

Group Description: Fairfield, CA based Women's Hiking & Outdoor Adventure Group! The Amazon Group is a group for meeting other Women in their 20's and 30's who enjoy hiking, outdoors, and fitness. This group is for healthy/fit women who love to be outdoors and enjoy activities like: Hiking, backpacking, river-rafting, kayaking, and camping! Whether you are an experienced hiker or have never hiked before, join us! Other events include girl's night outs, hanging out, and day trips to fun new places. We also often stop at nearby places for good brews, food and conversation after hikes. Have fun while getting fit! Make new friends! Take time out of your busy life and get outside, and meet new people.

Group Name: San Francisco Hiking Group

Group Description: Scenic hikes and challenging rock climbing along the Bay with views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, Presidio, and Sausalito. Good way to make friends with San Francisco locals and enjoy some good hiking!

Group Name: Snowdogs

Group Description: Hiking, Running, Skiing/Snowboarding and other outdoor activities

Group Name: test group

Group Description: Group for testing

Group Name: Bay Area Birders

Group Description: This group is for birding people in the San Francisco Bay area. I figure we can open it to everyone. I will not be the "leader", but I hope that each of you will step forward now and then to lead some kind of outing. Roy

Group Name: Weekday hiking on the San Francisco peninsula

Group Description: This is for our private group

Group Name: Experiment Hiking Group's Page

Group Description: Creating an experimental hiking group. This group's hikes are tough :)

Group Name: Very challenging hike group

Group Description: Experienced hiker group who look for difficult, long and challenging hikes to get really great exercise, get in great shape and have a great workout!

Group Name: Downtown Embarcadero Exercise Group

Group Description: Group of professionals who can walk along the scenic Embarcadero from Market along the bay to Fishermans Wharf. We can start at 6pm at the Ferry Building which is at the end of Market street crossing Embarcadero. Address: 1 Ferry Building # 35 San Francisco, CA 94111-4230

Group Name: Bank Holiday Land's End Hiking

Group Description: This group is for hikers who get Holidays off from work, such as Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Labor Day, etc. and want to spend the morning on a stroll in scenic Land's End! We meet on Bank Holidays at 10:15 on the North West Corner of 27th Avenue and California. Reminders will be posted on the hiking event calendar.

Group Name: Bay Area Outdoor Volunteering

Group Description: This group is for people who want to be active and participate in helping to build trails, sustainable farming projects, planting trees, and working with other outdoor organizations and parks.

Group Name: Winter Snowshoe Hikes/Campouts

Group Description: If you own snowshoes and/or enjoy backcountry nordic skiing, this group might be for you. I'd like to plan Truckee/Tahoe snowshoe hikes (maybe also up north towards Lassen) this season 2010-2011. Members are not expected to be triathletes, but should be sufficiently fit to handle cold weather challenges. As excursions may include overnighters, I'd like to invite those who are conservation-minded and wouldn't think twice about picking up garbage they might see on the trail. Weekday trips are also in the works.

Upcoming Hikes

There are no upcoming hikes. Be the first to start one!

Past Hikes

Ultra Long Hike Which Requires Training | 24.5 km away

Date: Sunday, 3-7-2010

Description: I want to train with some people to do a really long and strenuous hike - maybe around 30+ miles. Maybe find some record to break :) Any ideas?

Castle Rock waterfall hike | 68.7 km away

Date: Tuesday, 1-4-2011

Description: Meet: 10am at Edgewood Rd. & I280 Park & Ride or 10:15am in Cupertino in the Homestead Square shopping center near the Homestead Square sign on Homestead Rd. or 10:45am at the main entrance 2.5 miles south of the junction of Hwy 35 and 9 ($8 to park in the lot, or you can park along the road outside at no cost)

Rancho San Antonio Tuesday hike | 62.9 km away

Date: Tuesday, 1-18-2011

Description: This hike near Cupertino, in one of the most popular parks on the peninsula/south bay, offers great views of the bay area. Bring plenty of your favorite beverage, sun protection, and lunch or a snack. We'll hike to the bench at the top of the PG&E trail. Directions: From 280 just north of 85, take Foothill Blvd. toward the hills, right at the first light onto Cristo Rey Dr., then around and out the far side of the traffic circle. Turn left when you see the sign for Rancho San Antonio County Park. Follow the entrance road to the right past several parking areas, then left down the hill to a bigger parking area. If that's full, park in one of the lots back up the hill.

Shipwreck Hunt During Low Tide | 24.3 km away

Date: Saturday, 1-29-2011

Description: The original shipwreck hunt was a very popular event, so we are scheduling another event to see the two ships that can be spotted in the ocean during low tide! We will meet at: 870 El Camino Del Mar, San Francisco, California That is the trailhead. The hike is 2 miles each way. The terrain is pretty easy, but in the middle there are few mid-sized hills. Here is a page describing Lands End: http://www.hikingsanfrancisco.com/san_francisco_hikes/lands_end_national_park.php

Tuesday hike | 90.6 km away

Date: Tuesday, 2-1-2011

Description: Henry Coe is the second-largest state park in California. Thanks to Ann for suggesting this park east of Morgan Hill for a change. This will be a 9-miler with about 1500' of elevation gain. We'll explore several of the trails in the western section. Bring a pole for creek crossing, lunch, plenty of water or other suitable hiking beverage, shoes with good traction, and a jacket or suitable clothing in case it's cold and/or windy. Meeting locations: 10am Edgewood P&R 10:30 Homestead Square in Cupertino

Alviso Slough loop | 61.7 km away

Date: Sunday, 2-6-2011

Description: Meeting point Alviso Marino park - there must be parking there.It is easy hike 9-10 miles along Alviso slough. It is 100% flat. Hope it will be good bird watching opportunities. You can bring small lunch with you or we may decide to try Alviso town restaraunt

Tuesday hike | 58.4 km away

Date: Tuesday, 2-8-2011

Description: Meet 10am Edgewood P&R near, 10am Homestead Square shopping center Cupertino, 10:15 Page Mill P&R, or 10:30 at Orchard Glen picnic area in the park.

Water and restrooms at the start.

park map: http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=8505

back to Page Mill & I280 by 3:30.

Shipwreck Hunt Hike | 24.3 km away

Date: Sunday, 2-13-2011

Description: Since this was such a popular event last time, we will be doing this hike again. The hike is scheduled specifically during a time of low tide when tops of two drowned ships can be seen. One ship is during the middle of the hike and the other ship is at the end of the hike. The event is free, but donations on the site or at the event are appreciated since it takes a lot of time and effort to organize the event. Here is a link to Lands End to see what you can expect: http://www.hikingsanfrancisco.com/san_francisco_hikes/lands_end_national_park.php Children are welcome on this hike, but must be closely supervised by their parents.

Pulgas Ridge/Edgewood Tuesday hike | 48.6 km away

Date: Tuesday, 2-15-2011

Description: Here's my tried and true hike for threatening weather. Showers or rain are expected Tuesday, so I've picked this two-parter in case it becomes more than showers. Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve and Edgewood County Park hike Tue February 15 10:30am-3pm 4 or 8 miles, 800 or 1600 feet elevation gain Meet 10am at Homestead Square shopping center in Cupertino. Meet next to Homestead Rd. near the Homestead Square sign. or meet 10:30am at the Pulgas Ridge parking lot (directions below) Edgewood County Park info http://www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/smc/department/home/0,,5556687_12305995_12328420,00.html Pulgas Ridge info http://openspace.org/preserves/pr_pulgas_ridge.asp Here's a great combination hike, with gentler trails than I typically lead. We'll start at Pulgas Ridge, where we'll hike up, down and around through this Open Space preserve. Then we'll head across Edgewood Rd. to Edgewood Park, where we'll have lunch near the restrooms. After lunch, we'll hike up around the rid ....

Cannons, Ecology and Palace of Fine Arts Hike at the Presidio | 25.5 km away

Date: Sunday, 2-20-2011

Description: This will be a really beautiful and historic hike through the Presidio. We will meet at the Arguello Gate, walk along the Ecology Trail, then through the army base to see the old Officers Homes and a display of historic cannons used by the army. We will then go to the Palace of Fine Arts for a break and a little snack (10-20 minutes), and then we will head back. Here is some information about the Presidio: http://www.hikingsanfrancisco.com/san_francisco_hikes/the_presidio.php

Shipwreck Hunt Hike | 24.3 km away

Date: Sunday, 2-27-2011

Description: Since this was such a popular event last time, we will be doing this hike again. The hike is scheduled specifically during a time of low tide when tops of two drowned ships can be seen. One ship is during the middle of the hike and the other ship is at the end of the hike. The event is free, but donations on the site or at the event are appreciated since it takes a lot of time and effort to organize the event. Here is a link to Lands End to see what you can expect: http://www.hikingsanfrancisco.com/san_francisco_hikes/lands_end_national_park.php Children are welcome on this hike, but must be closely supervised by their parents.

Presidio Ridge Trail To Golden Gate Bridge | 25.5 km away

Date: Sunday, 3-13-2011

Description: This will be mid-difficulty hike. We will meet at the Arguello gate and hike along the (relatively newly built) Ridge Trail which is very scenic. The hike goes to the bottom of Golden Gate Bridge.

Once we get to the bridge, we will go back along the same path to where we started.

Arrowhead Marsh Bird Walk | 37.2 km away

Date: Sunday, 3-20-2011

Description: This walk is by Arrowhead Marsh near the Oakland Airport. The area is popular with birders because of winter waterfowl population, and frequent sighting of California Clapper Rails. We meet at 1:00 pm in the main parking lot. From 880, head toward the Oakland Airport. Turn right at Pardee Drive, then left on Swan Way, and right to enter the park. Ignore the first 2 parking areas, and continue to the end of the road by the observation tower. Approach the water. I will be sitting on the fishing dock, wearing a dorky white hat with a cape. High tide is at 1:42 pm, offering a good change of seeing a clapper rail or two. If that fails, we can try again in the late afternoon. Meanwhile, we can wander about various pond and shoreline areas to observe a variety of waterfowl. Here is a link to park information and a park map. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/mlk All walking is level and paved. Bicycles are allowed. Distance depends on what we care to do. The loop around the New Marsh and seasonal p ....

Lost in the Presidio Hike Adventure | 25.5 km away

Date: Sunday, 3-27-2011

Description: This will be an experimental hike where we take trails we don't really know and see if we get lost, and can find our way back. Do not worry! The Presidio is not very big and I know it pretty well. So really, we won't be very lost. But it will be fun to orient ourselves and see if we can figure out different trails in a somewhat unusual and experimental situation where everyone can contribute. We will meet at the Arguello gate. There is plenty of parking on the streets there.

Musical Chairs Presidio Hike | 25.5 km away

Date: Saturday, 4-2-2011

Description: To make the hike more fun and social, we will do some experiments with playing musical chairs with whom you hike next to, and who leads the hike. The focus will be on making it fun, healthy, social, and creative. Game suggestions are welcome The hike will be through many different Presidio trails. There is plenty of parking on the streets.