Point Reyes Trail Guides (Pt 1)

Besides sharing my (mis)adventures with everyone here on this blog, I, however surprising it might sound, also try to be actually helpful from time to time. This desire to write “real” trail guides and trail descriptions that people could trust culminated in me applying for the role of and, eventually, becoming a contributor for Outdoor Project, an expansive outdoor adventure resource.

I’ve written several trail guides that got published and today, I thought, why not share a few of these trail guides with you all? So here goes; a few trail guides, this time to Point Reyes National Seashore, the place I love and adore, the place where I’ve hiked hundreds of miles, the place that has become my home.

Tomales Point Elk Reservation

The part of the park where I’ve been the most times; the elk reservation. On this hike, you’re almost guaranteed to see the majestic tule elk. Calves roam the green grassy hills along their mothers in spring while lupines fill the air with their sweet fragrance in early summer. The autumn brings the elk’s mating calls while winter carries with it first rains and greenery.

At the very end of the trail, on the tip of the peninsula, bird colonies nest on the broken coastline, and a seal mom sometimes brings up her pups there.

Read the trail guide HERE.

From Woodlands to Coastlines to Ridges: Bear Valley, Coast, Woodward Valley & Meadow Trail Loop

Woodlands Surrounding Woodward Valley Trail

This loop is my very favourite loop starting in Bear Valley, if not my favourite hike in Point Reyes, period. It takes you from the green woodlands filled with bay oak, the occasional redwood, and pines, through a meadow where belladonna lilies flower in early fall, to coastal grasslands filled with California quails, red-winged blackbirds, California poppies, California kingsnakes, garter snakes, fence lizards, and many other species. From the coast, it leads up into the hills with their tall pines, montbretias, and banana slugs before descending back into the lad of bay oak.

Halfway up the Woodward Valley, the views of the coastline get staggeringly beautiful. On a clear day, even the Farallones can be seen.

Find the trail guide HERE.

Limantour Beach

A Gull on Limantour Beach

Limantour beach is one of the most popular spots. It’s also one of the few places where dogs are allowed, so there’s no lack of their company. The beach stretches south and offers a mile or two of walking along the shore. It’s easily accessible as there’s a parking lot right next to it.

Find the beach guide HERE.

Abbotts Lagoon

Caspian Tern

Abbotts Lagoon is a short and smooth hike that takes you to a lagoon (surprisingly) where many birds like to live and nest. It’s the perfect spot for the birdwatcher as well as those who just want to take a short hike and get to a beach.

During certain times of the year, parts of the beach to the south are closed for snowy plover nesting season. Caspian terns, killdeer, red-winged blackbirds, and many other species also frequent this area.

Find the trail and beach guide HERE.

Palomarin to Bear Valley Hike

Alamere Falls

This hike includes the beautiful Alamere Falls as well as a climb up and over the hills that run through the middle of Point Reyes South to North. It takes you through the coastal shrubs and bay oak woods, on a beach, and up to where pines grow. The last stretch follows a stream that winds along the wide and smooth Bear Valley service road.

It was on this hike that I saw and took a photo of a paddle-tailed darner, which was reportedly a new record of this species of darner in Marin County, as the community on iNaturalist agreed (link).

Find the trail description HERE.

Yes, this is just part one; there are a few more guides to Point Reyes that I wrote and I will share these once they get published.

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