Distance: 2.8 mi. (4.5 km) roundtrip
Abbotts Lagoon is known for fantastic birding opportunities (particularly in the fall and winter), and beautiful wildflowers in the spring. Abbotts Lagoon is actually a series of three coastal lagoons. The upper (easternmost) lagoon is the smallest and contains the freshest water; the lower (westernmost) lagoon is the largest and saltiest.
The beginning of this trail is an easy stroll past pastures and through coastal scrub before skirting along the southern edge of the middle lagoon. After 0.9 miles (1.5 km), you will arrive at a footbridge that crosses a short stream that connects the middle and lower lagoons. From this point, continue for an extra 0.5 miles (800 meters) along the north edge of the lower lagoon and amid the sand dunes to arrive at the Point Reyes Beach (aka the Great Beach). Return via the same trail.
Be advised that beyond the footbridge, the trail enters the Phillip Burton Wilderness and the trail is considered to be unmaintained. Take note of your surroundings before exploring the beach or the lagoon area so you can ensure you'll be able to find the trail again for your return trip. Please be respectful of fragile coastal dune vegetation.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, hiking south of Abbotts Lagoon on the Great Beach is prohibited on weekends and holidays to protect nesting western snowy plovers.
Sneaker waves and strong coastal surf are just a few of the hazards of which visitors should be aware while visiting Point Reyes beaches. Beaches may be closed at various times of the year to protect park wildlife and visitors alike. Please visit Point Reyes National Seashore's Current Conditions page to learn about any current beach closures.
Visit the park's Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore page for hiking tips and information about trail etiquette and safety.
Visit the park's Trail Advisories and Closures page for current information about closed trails, trails blocked by trees, or other temporary hazards or advisories.