Duxbury Reef Low Tide Hike
8.0 miles     400 ft
11 Dec 2011

A serene hike along Duxbury Reef that is feasible only in low tide conditions. About half of the hike is along paved roads.

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Many many maps by National Park Service: Good quality maps showing various trails in different parts of Point Reyes.

» Tom Harrison Trail Map: High quality contoured map showing various trails and mileages for different sections.


Low Tide: Before attempting this hike, look up tide tables, for example, at American Tides — Bolinas Lagoon. I'm not sure how low the tide should be for safe transit. I did the hike in minus (below zero) tide conditions.

To Commonweal Parking Lot: From the trail head on Wharf Road, I walked away from the beach. Wharf Road soon turned into Olema Bolinas Road. After walking 0.6 miles, I turned left on to Mesa Road. After walking 2.6 miles along Mesa Road, I reached the trail head, just beyond the parking lot for Commonweal. Walking along Mesa Road is not recommended because there is no shoulder along this road for many sections. Instead, you may choose to follow the roads and trails shown in the trail map by California Coastal Trail. The route is also well described in the book Hiking the California Coastal Trail - Volume 1 - Oregon to Monterey (320 pages, 2002) by Bob Lorentzen and Michael Nichols.

Duxbury Reef Trail to Beach: Check out the Google Map for Commonweal parking lot on Mesa Rd. This parking lot is quite prominent. It allows parking for about 10 cars. Duxbury Reef Trail is also shown on this Google map. The trail head for Duxbury Reef Trail lies along Mesa Road, about 0.1 miles north of the Commonweal parking lot. To get onto the trail, you have to enter a gate behind which lies a blue sign announcing that the area belongs to Duxbury Reef Reserve. The trail is initially faint. However, within a few hundred yards, the trail becomes prominent and well maintained. Towards the very end of the trail, you'd have to climb down a pair of ropes that facilitate descent onto the beach.

To Wharf Road: Once on the beach, the hike is straightforward except two rock formations which warrant careful scrambling.

Alternate routes: From Commonweal parking lot, there is a paved road headed towards the beach. At the end of the paved road, a trail provides beach access. From Commonweal parking lot, there is an unpaved trail to the left of the paved road. This trail goes through a cattle ranch and also provides beach access. See Tom Harrison's Point Reyes Map for details.


Location: 90 Wharf Road, Bolinas, CA 94924 . Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: From Highway 101 North, take Highway 1 North exit and drive for 17 miles. Turn left on Olema Bolinas Road and drive for 2.1 miles. Continue onto Wharf Road till you reach a cul-de-sac next to a beach entrance.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: Dec 2011)

Capacity: Street parking for dozens of cars along Wharf Road.

Latitude: 37.909153     Longitude: -122.682357

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