Below are brief descriptions of the most popular hikes found at Point Reyes National Seashore. With close to 240 kilometers (150 miles) of hiking trails, these are just a few of the routes visitors can follow while visiting the park. Feel free to use the trail maps on our Maps page to plot your own course. All listed distances are round trip. Additional information and tips about hiking may be found on our Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore page.
For directions to trailheads, visit our Directions to Park Destinations page. If you are starting your hike from the Bear Valley area, please park your vehicle(s) in the gravel parking lot on the left (east) side of the access road close to the Bear Valley Trailhead, not in the paved parking lot adjacent to the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Trail Advisories and Closures
Please observe all trail closures and barriers. Trails are closed for a variety of reasons, such as for visitor safety, to protect endangered species, to prevent erosion, and/or to allow new sections of trail to harden. Visitors who disregard trail closures may endanger themselves and any potential rescuers, harm threatened and endangered species, exacerbate erosion, or prevent new sections of trail from properly hardening, which results in the degradation of the trail surface, which in turn may require the closing of the trail for repair. Thank you for your cooperation.
Visit our Trail Advisories and Closures for current information.
Less than one-hour hikes:
EARTHQUAKE TRAIL (1 km / 0.6 mi.)
A short paved loop explores the San Andreas Fault Zone. Interpretive signs describe the geology of the area. This trail begins at the southeast corner of the Bear Valley Picnic Area, just across the street from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
KULE LOKLO TRAIL (1.3 km / 0.8 mi.)
A short path leads up to a replica of a Coast Miwok Indian village. Interpretive signs briefly describe Coast Miwok culture and history and the structures in the village. From Kule Loklo, return on the same trail, or continue around the horse pasture to return via the Morgan Horse Ranch. This trail begins at the north end of the Bear Valley Parking Lot, about 100 meters (100 yards) from the the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
WOODPECKER TRAIL (1.1 km / 0.7 mi.)
This loop trail explores the beautiful local forest and meadow ecosystems of Bear Valley. An interpretive brochure describing some plants and animals you may see can be obtained at the trailhead or at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. This trail begins at the Bear Valley Trailhead, at the south end of the Bear Valley Parking Lot.
LIMANTOUR SPIT TRAIL (3.2 km / 2 mi.)
Carry binoculars and a field guide to birds as you walk along the crest of Limantour Spit. Many species of birds may be found on the mudflats of Limantour Estero to the north and on the sandy beach of Drakes Bay to the south. Harbor seals are frequently seen poking their heads up out of the water beyond the breakers. Start this hike at the Limantour Beach parking lot, a 20 minute drive from Bear Valley. From the parking lot, walk about 100 meters (100 yards) toward the beach. The Limantour Spit Trail branches off to the west just before you get to the sand dunes.
CHIMNEY ROCK TRAIL (2.5 km / 1.6 mi.)
Advisory: Fissures Near the Chimney Rock Trail - updated December 22, 2015
A spectacular hike with views of Drakes Bay and the Pacific Ocean and renowned for great spring wildflowers. Rocky cliffs drop off steeply to the water, so there is no beach access. From January through May, look for migrating whales from the point. Fog and wind can make this hike challenging. Start this hike at the Chimney Rock Trailhead, near the Lighthouse, a 45-minute drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Check out our Chimney Rock page for more information about visiting this beautiful location.
ESTERO TRAIL to the bridge across Home Bay (3.2 km / 2 mi.)
This relatively easy trail through open grassland and an old Christmas tree farm offers excelent birdwatching opportunities and the possibility of seeing bat rays and leopard sharks swimming just below the water's surface. This hike begins at the Estero Trailhead, which is located a short distance off of Sir Francis Drake Blvd. on the way to the Lighthouse. Allow 25 minutes driving time from Bear Valley.
ABBOTTS LAGOON (3.2 km / 2 mi.)
An easy stroll through open grasslands and coastal scrub to a bridge crossing the short stream connecting a couple of the lagoons, with good spring wildflowers and excellent birdwatching, especially in the fall and winter. If you wish, you can continue out to the Great Beach, an extra 0.9 km (0.5 mi.) walking on sand, before returning via the same trail. The Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead is 25 minutes driving time from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd. north and west to the Pierce Point Road. Turn right and continue north. Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead is clearly marked on the left.
KEHOE BEACH TRAIL (1.9 km / 1.2 mi.)
A flat trail through Kehoe Marsh and out to Kehoe Beach. The only trail at Point Reyes where dogs are permitted. Keep dogs on leash at all times. (See our Pets page for more information.) You may encounter cows on this trail. Also look for elusive brush rabbits, bobcats and mountain lions which are occasionally sighted in this area. The trailhead for this hike is located along the Pierce Point Road, a 30-minute drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
TOMALES POINT TRAIL to Windy Gap (3.2 km / 2 mi.)
This open trail through the Tule Elk Reserve offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and is a prime wildlife viewing trail. The trail to Windy Gap is relatively level. At Windy Gap, one can look east down into White Gulch where there is a spring to which the elk are attracted. Hikers wanting to hike further can continue another 6 km (3.7 miles) to the north tip of Tomales Point. See the description in the "Three-to six-hour hikes" section below for more information. Fog can limit visibility and and wind make this hike more challenging. The Tomales Point Trailhead is at the end of Pierce Point Road, 40 minute driving time from Bear Valley.
McCLURES BEACH TRAIL (1.3 km / 0.8 mi.)
A rugged trail descends moderately steeply down a ravine to the ocean. McClures Beach is contained within a beautiful cove backed by rocky cliffs, but watch out for tidal fluctuations and dangerous surf. This hike's trailhead is located at the end of the Pierce Point Road, below Pierce Point Ranch, a 40-minute drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.