What’s Best: Fit the pieces of the Point Reyes puzzle together with bird’s-eye views from its ridge tops by starting out at high-elevation trailheads.
Parking: From Olema: Jog north on Hwy. 1 and turn left on Bear Valley Rd. Pass visitor center and turn left on Limantour Rd. From Pt. Reyes Station: Go south on Hwy. 1, turn right on Sir Francis Drake Blvd, left on Bear Valley Rd. and then right on Limantour Rd. For Sky Trail: Look for turnout on left at top, after about 3.5 ml. on Limantour Rd. For Bayview Trail: Look for turnout on right after 4.5 ml. on Limantour Rd. Agency: Point Reyes National Seashore
Sky Trail to: Sky Camp (2.5 ml.), or Mt. Wittenberg (4.25 ml.), or Hike: Coast Trail via Woodward Valley (9.5 ml.); Bayview Trailhead to: Point Reyes Hill (5.5 ml.), or Mt. Vision (7.25 ml.)
Sky Trail hikes: Sky Camp, one of the seashore’s backpacking sites, is set near a spring and a grove of eucalyptus, a few hundred feet in elevation up from the trailhead. Stay on the road all the way. To get to Mt. Wittenberg, some 700 feet above trailhead parking, go left on the Horse Trail after .75-mile, before reaching the camp. After a short distance, go right on the Z Ranch Trail, which after .75-mile connects with a spur trail to the 1,407-foot summit.
Photo Gallery LIMANTOUR HIGH TRAILS MAP SAN FRANCISCO
LIMANTOUR HIGH TRAILS MAP SAN FRANCISCO Images
For the longer walk to the Coast Trail via Woodward Valley, stride through Sky Camp after which the road becomes a trail and in another 1.5 miles you’ll see the Woodward Valley trail to the right. The next 1,000-foot drop through the valley is a study in flora transition, from mixed conifers, through woodland and chaparral, and finally to coastal grasslands. Near the bottom you can see the whole coast, from Palomarin to Drakes Bay. Note: Woodward Valley is shown as “Woodworth” in some publications.
Bayview Trail hikes: Pt. Reyes Hill called a “hill” even though, at 1,336 feet, it is the peninsula’s second-highest summit is up Inverness Ridge Road from Bayview parking. After a mile on the dirt road, veer left at a fork that leads to Drakes View Drive. About .75-mile after that, the road becomes more of a trail during the last, steeper walk to the top of the hill. You’ll have climbed some 700 feet above trailhead parking. Mt Vision, accessible by car from the north, via TH72, is about .5-mile north on the ridge road from Pt. Reyes Hill. You drop down to Mt. Vision’s 1,282-foot top, which is a wide-open parking area with views both of Tomales Bay and the Pacific.
Bike: From Inverness Ridge Road, going north from the Bayview Trail, you can make a downhill loop ride to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Inverness. For this Drakes View-Drakes Summit loop covering some 5.5 miles and requiring about 800 feet of climb head up the ridge road for a mile and veer right at a fork. After less than .5-mile you connect with the gate at the top of Drakes View Drive. Take this twisty paved road down, passing other funky roads, coming out between Inverness and Inverness Park. Go right for a mile on Drake Boulevard and then right again on Balboa Avenue, which is just north of Bear Valley Road. Balboa connects with Drakes Summit Road. You’ll come to a gate after a long ride up, and pop out on Limantour Road. Go right for about .5-mile to the Bayview trailhead.