Magical, stunning, full of life – a day trip to Point Reyes National Seashore was one of the highlights on my recent trip to San Francisco. If you are a nature lover this park is sure to thrill – before you enter stop by the Point Reyes Shipwreck [12781 Sir Francis Drake Blvd Inverness, CA 94937] on the side of the road. It’s located right behind a convenience store very easy to access, and you can grab any supplies you may need for the day from the market. The boat is magnificent standing upright proudly on the shore.
You can go inside, but be very wary there are nails sticking out of some boards, glass, and it is generally trashed.
But still really cool if you’re cautious. Continuing on into the park we popped into the Visitors Center where we saw a bunch of California Quail and got a map. Our warm up trail was the Point Reyes Lighthouse, .8 mile round trip with some decent elevation gain. Before we even left the parking lot area we saw deer, coyote, birds, flowers, and lots of poison oak. It is everywhere in the park.
The early morning fog was blanketing the rugged coast, but it began to lift during the stroll.
More wildlife in the sunshine, a buck, a slug, and burnt orange algae – so many fantastic colors.
And then below you’ll see the lovely little lighthouse, down the stairs is a cakewalk, be prepared to climb back up them!
Head inside to get a closer look, then head back the way you came. Next up was our big hike of the day, the Estero Trail. A 9.4 mile roundtrip hike through the rolling hills of grassland amongst the grazing cattle and their cowpies. Once you get through the woods, over the bridge, and gain some height, you’re in for an incredible vista of the spiraling estero.
Along the way the fauna is varied. You’ll see plenty of birds up in the hills, scrub jay, heron, egret. We had an encounter with a curious coyote, if you see one be sure not to get too close.
Wave your hands and yell if you feel uncomfortable, it will run away. From the elevation we gained a vantage point to see elephant seal down below basking in the sun on a sandbar.
Eventually descending for the last time on the hike out to the beach and it was an eerie fog filled scene.
Many new shore birds appeared including white pelican, loon, plover.
Walking along the shore was gorgeous to be sure, but slippery – so step with care.
Also, be careful not to step on any crabs while exploring the tide pools and excellent rock formations.
It was a wonderful diverse and challenging hike, but very rewarding. Bring lots of water, snacks, wear good shoes, and beware of the copious amounts of poison oak on the trail – and enjoy!
+Next time? I’d love to hike the Alamere Falls trail, a tidefall which plunges right into the ocean. A park ranger told me it was down to a mere trickle during my visit – so check in or go after a decent rainfall to get the best show.