Point Reyes South District Loop

[Summary from my April 2013 post] A spectacular meeting of land and ocean, Point Reyes National Seashore is one of my favorite places anywhere.  Point Reyes has incredible variety from rugged beaches to waterfalls to lush forests. With nearly 150 miles of trails  to explore, there always seems to be something new to experience on each visit.  Most of the trail miles are within the Phillip Burton Wilderness, the only federally designated wilderness along California’s coast aside from the King Range Wilderness at Humboldt County’s Lost Coast. Covering 33,373 acres of wilderness and “potential’ wilderness, the road-less land encompasses nearly half of the total 71,070 acres of Point Reyes. 

On this day Erica and I set out from Bear Valley on a 24 mile lollipop loop of the southern portion of Point Reyes. Along the way we had great variety from the fir forests on Greenpicker Trail, Lake Ranch Trail and Ridge Trail to the coastal scenery of Alamere Falls, Wildcat Beach and Arch Rock. It was great to check out some trails I had never seen in the interior part of Point Reyes and revisit some familiar scenes along the coast in different lighting and tidal conditions. Trails in the interior of southern Point Reyes are heavily wooded and solitude can be found with few visitors. The coastal scenery was beautiful as usual and the photo above shows late afternoon sunlight coming underneath Arch Rock, providing a twist on this extremely photogenic scene that I have captured numerous times. Other photos from this loop are located below. There are so many awesome trails in Point Reyes the options for designing aesthetic routes for long runs is virtually limitless. I imagine it won’t be long before I’m back at the Seashore.  Strava route here.

A selection of photo albums and reports from past trips to Point Reyes:

 

Point Reyes Pilgrimage

I have visited Point Reyes National Seashore many times over the years, but each time I leave inspired by the amazing scenery and look forward to the next exploration. This time I did a loop out of Bear Valley that I have done in the past, but in the reverse direction to best accommodate the day’s tides. This loop hits virtually all the coastal highlights of the south district of the park, including Alamere Falls, Wildcat Beach, Arch Rock, Kelham Beach, Sculptured Beach and Secret Beach. In addition, the inland trails traverse through lush Douglas fir forest with sweeping panoramic views achieved on the slopes of Mount Wittenberg. Access to Secret Beach via Sculptured Beach and Kelham Beach via Arch Rock both require low tides so the route must be designed accordingly. As to be expected, we encountered excellent tidepooling at Sculptured Beach with bountiful anemones, sea stars and mussels. Secret Beach features an immense natural amphitheater and a pristine stretch of coastline. Some of my favorite photos from this outing are below. A GPS map of the route is here. Complete photo album here (photos of me by Joel Lanz).

Complete photo album here.