9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore

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9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

Introduction: What is Point Reyes National Seashore?

Elk – Point Reyes

What are the best hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore? Choose one of these best 9 trails and enjoy a great hike!

Point Reyes National Seashore is a federal park located on California’s Northern Coast. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the park as part of his New Deal program in 1938. The president created the park so the public could enjoy its scenic beauty.

For the best hiking boots or backpack, read this.

Point Reyes National Seashore – Home To Rare And Endangered Plants And Animals

Today, Point Reyes provides a home to many animals. Some of the animals include the American White Pelican, the Western Snowy Plover, the Northern Elephant Seal. You can see many elk and different kinds of shorebirds during your visit.

9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore
Coast Lily – Point Reyes

Point Reyes gives many endangered and rare animals a home. Some of these animals include the California Freshwater Shrimp, Chinook Salmon, Green Sea Turtle, Northern Fur Seal, and Bald Eagle. For a complete list of the animals and their status, read this.

The park also protects endangered and rare plants. Some of the rare plants include Pink Sand-verbena, Coast Rock Cress, Coastal Bluff Morning-glory, Glory Bush, Blue Coast Gilia, and Coast Lily. This link shows you a full list of the plants and their status.

About Point Reyes The City

Point Reyes is a small coastal town located less than two hours hours north of of San Francisco. The name comes from Spanish “la Punta de los Reyes” and means Point of the Kings. The name refers to the three wise men in the Christmas story.

Directions From San Francisco

Point Reyes’ culture goes back more than 5,000 years. The Coast Miwok Indians were the first humans to live here. The Mexican government gave land grants in the early 1800s. Ranches were set up on the land grants. Next came American farming operations. Many farms still operate today.

Town Of Point Reyes

The area has lots of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. You can easily find good food here. As you wander around town, enjoy the old buildings and the street art. Also, in season, admire the many fine gardens here. Relax after your Point Reyes hike.

9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore CA

The park covers over 70,028 acres. Point Reyes park has more than 100 miles of hiking trails for you to enjoy. This is a list of the best and most popular hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore.

  1. Bear Valley Trail to Glen Camp Loop Point
  2. Chimney Rock Trail
  3. Divide Meadow Loop Point
  4. Drakes Head Trail
  5. Laguna Trail and Coast Trail Loop
  6. Sky Trail and Bear Valley Loop
  7. Sunset Beach Trail
  8. Tomales Point Trail
  9. Mount Wittenberg Trail

Bear Valley Trail to Glen Camp Loop Point

Description

9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

The hike starts in a forest of redwood groves and ends in a meadow where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of this sanctuary. The Bear Valley Trail has some steep spots which make the hike challenging for beginners.

This trail has some of the best bird watching in the U.S. You might also see Northern Elephant Seals during the winter.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 12.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1420 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Chimney Rock Trail – Point Reyes National Seashore CA

Point Reyes National Seashore

The hike to Chimney Rock is a great day trip for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s an easy hike so all skill levels can enjoy this trail.

The hike has some varied terrain with some steep climbing, scrambling, and bouldering. As well as enjoying the steep climb, you can enjoy some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean when you reach the top. The views make it worth the effort when you get to the top.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 1.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 269 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Divide Meadow Loop Point

This loop trail has great views. The trail gives you spectacular views of the Point Reyes National Seashore and Mount Tamalpais State Park.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.7 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,161 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Drakes Head Trail – Point Reyes National Seashore CA

The Hike Drakes Head Trail is one of the most popular trails in Point Reyes National Seashore. The trail offers a variety of terrain, from rocky beaches with occasional tide pools, to forests with cold creeks.

Things To Know

9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 8.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,030 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Laguna Trail and Coast Trail Loop

This is a beautiful nature hike that can be done in one day. It also takes you through two different ecosystems; the coastal forest and the chaparral. Even though a fairly easy trail to hike, it does have some steep sections.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 501 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Sky Trail and Bear Valley Loop – Point Reyes National Seashore CA

The Sky Trail and Bear Valley Loop features a variety of terrain. The terrain includes forested areas, grasslands, and coastal scrub. The loop is an easy hike. You can hike alone or with a group of all hiking skill levels.

9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

The trail starts from the Bear Valley Visitor Center and heads north along the coast to the lighthouse at Chimney Rock. Then, the trail loops back south through forested hills to the visitor center.

Along the way you can take side trips to explore some of Point Reyes’ landmarks. Landmarks include the historic barns in Drakes Estero or sunny Ocean Beach.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 10.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,692 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Sunset Beach Trail

This is a fairly easy hike with some elevation. The trail leads to an abandoned lighthouse and beach. This is a great place for birders, hikers, and anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 882 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Mount Wittenberg Trail

The Mount Wittenberg Trail hike is a great way to see a beautiful part of Northern California. Go past the peak for ocean views.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 4.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,299 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Tomales Point Trail – Point Reyes National Seashore CA

The Tomales Point Trail is among the most popular hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore. There is lots of parking for this trail. Parking fills up early on weekends and holidays so plan to arrive early.

9 Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

The trail leads hikers through meadows, open grasslands, oak forests, and stands of tanoak trees. This trail takes you to the site of an Indian village that existed for over 3,000 years before Europeans arrived in North America. Along the way you see many primitive campsites where early Californians lived.

This trail offers a breathtaking view of Tomales Bay and an excellent chance to see elk.

Things To Know

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 9.4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1,177 feet
  • Dogs: No

Directions From San Francisco

Summary – Best Hikes In Point Reyes National Seashore CA

Point Reyes National Seashore is a beautiful and peaceful park to visit and hike. The park offers visitors a variety of trails with different degrees of difficulty. Point Reyes has trails for everyone.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Visitors can view the stunning scenery from the tops of many hills. The park features over 100 miles of trails that range from easy to difficult. These trails make a perfect day trip destination.

Hikers can enjoy views from high vantage points or walk on trails near the water’s edge for an unforgettable experience. There are hiking trails for everyone, including family friendly hikes suitable for children

Point Reyes National Seashore is a beautiful part of the United States. This park has one of the most diverse environments in California. You can enjoy a mix of rolling hills, coastal scrub, freshwater wetlands, and sand dunes.

Besides being spectacularly beautiful, Point Reyes National Seashore is also home to a number of endangered animals and plant species. Pick a trail. Enjoy all this park offers!

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Point Reyes National Seashore

For the best hiking boots or backpack, read these posts:

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