Hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Jan 2012
Point Reyes National Seashore has 150+ miles of hiking trails with exceptional views of the coastline. Many trails have dozens of wildflowers in spring and summer. Parking is free and multiple campsites are available.

Best Months to Visit: Summers are best. In winters, it's too cool and windy.

Notes:

  1. If you're going to explore Point Reyes extensively, you should consider buying the Map by Tom Harrison (at REI). This map is high quality, with mileage for various sections of trails clearly marked.
  2. For adventure on unmarked trails, secret beaches and difficult terrain, check out Point Reyes - Secret Places & Magic Moments by Phil Arnot (1993, 224 pages).
  3. For multi-day trips, you may camp or stay at Point Reyes Hostel. Romantic getaways in bed and breakfast inns at Inverness, CA, are also attractive.
  4. If you're keen to hike to other waterfalls nearby or are a fan of waterfall photography, check out the amazing website: Leon Turnbull Photography: WaterfallsWest.com.
  5. These maps have more details: Bolinas RidgeTomales BayBeachesFull Park Map.
  6. A park employee told me that Point Reyes Beach in the north-west is about 4 miles long. However, it's always windy and you have to keep an eye on the ocean for 'sleeper waves' which can pull you into the ocean. On the other hand, Drakes Beach is always calm and quiet - in fact, you can swim and there are showers for post-swimming cleanup.
  7. Tide Tables for Point Reyes, CA
  8. Helpful: Backpacking Notes by Tom Mangan.
  9. Geology: Point Reyes - nice description by Ted Konigsmark at GeologicTrips.
  10. Car Camping: Olema Ranch.
List of Hikes
15.8 miles
2800 ft
Alamere Falls from Five Brooks Trailhead
A beautiful hike through varied terrain in Point Reyes, including a scramble down to Alamere Falls that drops directly into the ocean.

9.5 miles
1000 ft
Alamere Falls from Palomarin Trailhead
A gorgeous hike to a waterfall that pours directly into the ocean. Requires a delicate scramble at the end. Plenty of wildflowers all along the way.

2.1 miles
400 ft
Chimney Rock
A pleasant walk into a rocky finger-like landmass projecting into the Pacific. Plenty of wildflowers and excellent views of Point Reyes coastline in both directions.

16.8 miles
2300 ft
Coastal Trail in Point Reyes
A beautiful hike traversing the entire Coastal Trail in Point Reyes through two long beaches and a waterfall.

3.0 miles
300 ft
Drakes Beach
Beautiful walk through sandy and rocky beaches next to relatively calm Drakes Bay.

8.0 miles
400 ft
Duxbury Reef Low Tide Hike
A serene hike along Duxbury Reef that is feasible only in low tide conditions. About half of the hike is along paved roads.

2.0 miles
300 ft
McClures Beach
Peaceful hike to a long sandy beach with some rock outcrops to the south which can be climbed for great views.

1.7 miles
600 ft
Point Reyes Lighthouse
Short sweet hike to Point Reyes Lighthouse with expansive views of the Pacific. Requires climbing down 308 steps.

10.0 miles
1200 ft
Tomales Point
Hike to the northernmost point of Point Reyes to see tule elk, wildflowers and fantastic ocean views. Quite windy throughout the year.

4.5 miles
100 ft
Unknown Coast in Point Reyes
A superb cross-country adventure involving scrambling and walking through waist-deep water in Point Reyes. Can be done only a few days in the whole year in negative tide conditions.

8.8 miles
800 ft
Sunset Beach
A pleasant walk along Home Bay and Drakes Estero in Point Reyes.

9.0 miles
900 ft
Drakes Head
A pleasant walk along Home Bay in Point Reyes. Plus a trip to awesome views of Limantour Spit from Drakes Head.

12.8 miles
1000 ft
Drakes Head and Sunset Beach
A pleasant walk along Home Bay and Drakes Estero in Point Reyes. Plus a trip to awesome views of Limantour Spit from Drakes Head.

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