Save To Read Later:

31 Best Point Reyes Trails: Best Point Reyes Hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore, California


Point Reyes, California

by Coco Tran On September 28, 2023

point reyes trails hikes

Looking for the best Point Reyes trails to hike? I have 31 of the most scenic and popular and hidden Point Reyes trails for you to check out! Nestled along the Pacific coast just north of San Francisco lies the wild and wonderful Point Reyes National Seashore. With over 150 miles of Point Reyes trails traversing grassy coastal bluffs, secluded beaches, lush forests, and rolling meadows, Point Reyes offers no shortage of spectacular scenery and memorable adventures. 

Whether you’re looking for an easy family-friendly stroll or a challenging backcountry trek, Point Reyes has it all.

31 Best Point Reyes Hikes: Best Point Reyes Trails in Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Here are 31 of the best Point Reyes Trails National Seashore has to offer:

Best point reyes hiking trails

1. Tomales Point Trail Point Reyes Hike 

  • – Length: 9.5 miles roundtrip 
  • – Difficulty: Moderate
  • – Terrain: Mostly flat with some small hills, gravel and dirt trail
  • – Highlights: Dramatic ocean views, migrating whales (in season), large elk herds
point reyes trails

This Point Reyes coast trail is an out-and-back trail in the northernmost section of Point Reyes that leads hikers along the wild and scenic edges of the Tule Elk Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for the large herds of tule elk grazing in the grasslands and take in spectacular vistas of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.  This is one of my absolute favorite hikes in Point Reyes and it’s by far one of the most popular hikes. It’s so cool to see the Elks roaming freely. 

Note: Doggies aren’t allowed on the Tomales Point Trail due to the elks!

Tip: You can go as far as you want to and return. The end does offer epic ocean view of Point Reyes 

 2. Chimney Rock Trail point Reyes trailhead

  • – Length: 1.6 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Easy 
  • – Terrain: Paved and dirt trail, some stairs
  • – Highlights: Sweeping coastal views, elephant seal colonies, wildflowers
point reyes hikes

This short but scenic Point Reyes trail offers spectacular ocean vistas as it winds along the bluffs to the edge of Chimney Rock Point. Look for lounging harbor seals and migrating gray whales offshore. The hillsides explode with colorful wildflowers in springtime.

More California Articles

Here are my top travel resources and helpful travel articles & tips to help you get started with traveling.

USA Travel Resources

 3. Point Reyes Lighthouse Trail 

  • – Length: 1.3 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Moderate (308 stairs each way)
  • – Terrain: Paved trail and stairs
  • – Highlights: Historic Point Reyes Lighthouse 
point reyes lighthouse hike

Don’t miss this iconic Point Reyes trail leading to the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse perched dramatically on the bluffs above the ocean. Be prepared for the 308 steps down and back up to reach the lighthouse at the end.  You can also do a quick stop by and snap a photo if you don’t want to trek all the way down. 

Tip: This Point Reyes Lighthouse trail is one of the prettiest trails to see the sunset.

4. Bear Valley Point Reyes Trail

  • – Length: 8.2 miles roundtrip 
  • – Difficulty: Moderate
  • – Terrain: Flat dirt trail with some small hills
  • – Highlights: Diverse scenery from forests to meadows 

This scenic trail through the heart of Point Reyes offers a taste of everything this park has to offer. Wander through shady forests, cross sunny meadows and see plentiful wildlife along the way. Connect to many other trail options.

Point Reyes Trails

5. Mount Wittenberg Trail 

  • – Length: 4.1 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Moderate 
  • – Terrain: Steep slopes with switchbacks
  • – Highlights: Panoramic views from the 1,407-foot summit

Make the steep but rewarding trek to the highest point on the Point Reyes peninsula.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

From the summit, take in sweeping views of Drakes Bay, Limantour Estero and the surrounding coastline. 

 6. Muddy Hollow Trail

– Length: 4 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Easy
– Terrain: Flat dirt trail 
– Highlights: Tule elk sightings, coastal scenery 

Meander through meadows and riparian zones along this gentle trail with excellent opportunities to spot tule elk grazing near the trailside.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

Enjoy pretty views over Limantour Estero and beach. This hike is best during spring

7. Laguna Trail – Coast Trail Loop 

– Length: 5 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Easy to moderate
– Terrain: Mostly flat dirt trails
– Highlights: Diverse ecosystems from forests to beaches

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

A delightfully varied loop passing through forests, coastal scrub, wildflower meadows and ending with ocean views at Coast Camp. Connect over to Sculptured Beach for tidepooling.

8. Abbotts Lagoon Trail

– Length: 3.3 miles roundtrip  
– Difficulty: Easy
– Terrain: Flat boardwalks and dirt trail
– Highlights: Tranquil lagoon, blooming wildflowers, secluded beach

Escape to this peaceful oasis filled with vibrant wildflowers in springtime. Meander along the lagoon and out to a serene sandy beach at the end of the trail.

9. Woodpecker Point Reyes Trail 

– Length: 0.7 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Easy 
– Terrain: Flat loop trail
– Highlights: Scenic meadow, interpretive signs about wildlife 

This short nature trail through the meadows near the Bear Valley Visitor Center is perfect for families. Kids will love spotting birds and other animals while learning about them from the interpretive signs. 

Best hikes Point Reyes

 10. Earthquake Trail

– Length: 0.6 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Easy
– Terrain: Flat paved trail  
– Highlights: 1906 earthquake exhibits and fences displaced 20 feet by the quake

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

One of the easiest and best view hikes in Point Reyes. Explore exhibits explaining the geology of the San Andreas Fault zone. See fences warped and displaced by the powerful 1906 earthquake that struck this area. Fun for budding geologists or anyone who wants to view this epic sight. 

11. McClures Beach Trail

– Length: 0.8 miles roundtrip 
– Difficulty: Easy to moderate (steep climb down to beach)
– Terrain: Steep dirt trail to secluded cove  
– Highlights: Scenic coastal views, secluded beach, tidepools

Make the short but steep descent down to this hidden gem of a beach. Explore the cove’s tidepools and enjoy a peaceful escape surrounded by spectacular ocean scenery.

12. Coast Trail to Bass Lake

– Length: 6 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Moderate
– Terrain: Rolling dirt trails, some hills
– Highlights: Swimming at Bass Lake

A refreshing hike along the coast ending at the serene waters of Bass Lake. Take a swim or relax beside the lakeshore beneath shady pines. 

13. Limantour Beach Trail

  • – Length: 2 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Easy  
  • – Terrain: Flat sandy trail 
  • – Highlights: Prime birdwatching spot with views over estuary


Grab your binoculars for this scenic jaunt through beach grasses parallel to Limantour Estero. Spot herons, plovers, ospreys and many other bird species.

Point Reyes hiking trails

14. Kehoe Beach Trail Point Reyes Trail

  • – Length: 2.5 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Easy
  • – Terrain: Flat dirt trail  
  • – Highlights: Beautiful sandy beach

Walk this short dirt lined Point Reyes trail that’s easy/ The trail you can enjoy scenic views and an easy walk. Kehoe beach is dog friendly!

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

15. Mt. Wittenberg – Bear Valley Loop  Point Reyes Trail

  • – Length: 5 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
  • – Terrain: Steep slopes and switchbacks
  • – Highlights: Panoramic vistas from Mt. Wittenberg summit

A scenic loop taking you to the highest point on the peninsula. Climb up through shady forest to be rewarded with sweeping coastal views on top.


 
16. Sky Trail – Old Pine Trail Loop Point Reyes Hike

  • – Length: 9 mile loop
  • – Difficulty: Moderate
  • – Terrain: Rolling hills on wide dirt trails  
  • – Highlights: Diverse scenery from forests to meadows
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

A delightful loop in the Bear Valley area traversing shaded forests, sunny meadows and coastal panoramas. Abundant wildflowers in springtime.  

best hikes point reyes

17. Divide Meadow Loop Point Reyes Trail

  • – Length: 4.7 mile loop 
  • – Difficulty: Moderate
  • – Terrain: Rolling dirt trails
  • – Highlights: Lush meadows and forests 
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

Wander through oak and pine forests interspersed with grassy meadows blooming with wildflowers on this peaceful loop trail.

Best Point Reyes Hike

18. Drakes Head Point Reyes Trail 

  • – Length: 8.5 miles roundtrip 
  • – Difficulty: Moderate 
  • – Terrain: Flat dirt trail  
  • – Highlights: Stunning estuary views
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

Take in beautiful vistas overlooking Drakes Estero and Limantour Estero as you walk through coastal habitat on this out-and-back trail.  sorry fur parents, no doggies on this trail.

19. Coast Trail to Wildcat Camp 

  • – Length: 11 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Strenuous 
  • – Terrain: Hills and steep sections on dirt trails
  • – Highlights: Rugged coastal scenery, backcountry Wildcat Campground 
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

Trek through breathtaking coastal scenery to the remote Wildcat Camp snuggled in the hills above the ocean. Spend the night backpack camping under the stars.

 20. Alamere Falls  Point Reyes Waterfall Hikes

– Length: 8.5 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Strenuous
– Terrain: Steep climbs and descents on rocky trails
– Highlights: Alamere Falls cascading to the ocean

Arguably the most stunning hike in Point Reyes leads to the unique Alamere Falls that flow directly onto Wildcat Beach. Prepare for grueling climbs but it’s worth it!

 21. Estero Trail to Sunset Beach Point Reyes Hike

  • – Length: 13 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: Strenuous
  • – Terrain: Rolling hills on overgrown trails
  • – Highlights: Diverse ecosystems from forests to rugged coast 
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

A challenging yet incredibly scenic point-to-point trail through conifer groves, over windswept ridges and bluffs, and down to a wild stretch of coastline with tidepools. 

22. Stewart Trail Point Reyes

  • – Length: 13 mile loop
  • – Difficulty: Strenuous
  • – Terrain: Steep climbs on narrow trails
  • – Highlights: Waterfall views, rugged ridges and coastline
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

A spectacular loop open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. A difficult hike that is popular for birding camping and hiking

Best point reyes hiking Trails

23. Tomales Point Trail to McClures Beach 

– Length: 12 miles one-way 
– Difficulty: Strenuous
– Terrain: Flat but very long over dirt trails
– Highlights: Remote northern beaches

For intrepid hikers, follow the Tomales Point Trail all the way to its end at McClures Beach for an incredibly scenic 12 mile one-way journey through elk pastures and pristine coastal wilderness. 

24. Elephant Seal Overlook Trail

  • – Length: .5 miles roundtrip
  • – Difficulty: easy
  • – Terrain: Long with steep sections on narrow trails
  • – Highlights: beautiful cliff scenic views
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

A easy hike in point reyes with breathtaking cliffside vistas over the ocean below. 

25. Coast Trail – Woodward Valley Loop 

– Length: 17 mile loop   
– Difficulty: Strenuous
– Terrain: Hills and steep sections on dirt trails 
– Highlights: Coastal vistas and secluded inland valleys

An epic loop revealing the diverse beauty of Point Reyes, from crashing Pacific waves to serene forested valleys. Pack plenty of water for this long haul.

Point Reyes National Seashore hiking 

26. Sky Trail – Coast Trail Loop

– Length: 12 mile loop
– Difficulty: Strenuous
– Terrain: Long with hills on narrow trails  
– Highlights: Forests, coastal views, Ridgecrest Blvd road walk

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

Traverse from forest to coast and back on this scenic but challenging loop. Prepare for a 3 mile stretch along Ridgecrest Blvd connecting inland and coastal trails.

27. Chimney Rock – Drakes Head Loop

– Length: 13 miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Strenuous
– Terrain: Long with steep sections down to beaches 
– Highlights: Dramatic headlands and secluded coves

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

This hike Point Reyes Far-reaching ocean vistas abound on this epic coastal loop. Descend steep trails to Drakes and Limantour Beaches for secluded sunbathing and tidepooling opportunities. 

 28. Bear Valley to Coast Camp  

– Length: 14 miles one-way
– Difficulty: Strenuous
– Terrain: Long with steep climbs on narrow trails
– Highlights: Iconic Point Reyes backpacking experience

A classic Point Reyes backpacking route from Bear Valley to the panoramic perch of Sky Camp, with perfect pockets of meadows and forests for camping. 

 29.

Alamere Falls via Olema Valley, Bolema, Lake Ranch, Coast Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station, California, United States | AllTrails.com

29. Alamere Falls via Olema Valley

to Alamere Falls

– Length: 14.5miles roundtrip
– Difficulty: Strenuous 
– Terrain: Very long, steep sections on narrow trails
– Highlights: Alamere Falls cascading to Wildcat Beach  

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

Arguably the most spectacular trail in Point Reyes National Seashore leads from the Olema Valley to magical Alamere Falls. So if you are up for hiking in point reyes at one of the most rewarding and scenic hikes, this one is for you!

30. Laguna Loop – Sky Trail – Coast Trail Mega Loop 

– Length: 6 mile loop
– Difficulty: strenuous
– Terrain: slight elevation dirty parth
– Highlights: The ultimate Point Reyes trail experience

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/point-reyes-trails/

For hardcore hikers looking to experience as much of Point Reyes’ beauty as possible in a single trip, this epic 23 mile loop traverses forests, ridges, valleys and beaches galore. Get an early start and prepare for the journey of a lifetime!

Here is an updated section about the Bear Valley Trail at Point Reyes:

31. Bear Valley Trail

– Length: 8.2 miles roundtrip  
– Difficulty: Moderate
– Terrain: Flat dirt trail with some small hills
– Highlights: Diverse scenery from forests to meadows 

If you want to do some hikin in Point Reyes, this scenic Point Reyes trail through the heart of Point Reyes offers a taste of everything this park has to offer. Wander through shady forests, cross sunny meadows and see plentiful wildlife along the way. Connect to many other trail options.

The Bear Valley Trail is located near Bear Valley Visitor Center and is one of the most popular hikes in Point Reyes National Seashore. This relatively flat trail meanders through beautiful forests of Douglas fir, California bay laurel and alder trees before emerging into open meadows overflowing with wildflowers in spring. 

Keep an eye out for wildlife like deer, rabbits, coyotes, bobcats and many species of birds along the way. The trail leads hikers right past Divide Meadow, which is carpeted in colorful blooms later in the season. Bear Valley Trail connects to several other trail options if you want to extend your hike, like the Mt. Wittenberg Loop, Sky Trail or Arch Rock.

With easy accessibility, family-friendly terrain and plenty of natural scenery, the Bear Valley Trail is a great option for a relaxed day hike in Point Reyes National Seashore.

More California Articles

Here are my top travel resources and helpful travel articles & tips to help you get started with traveling.

USA Travel Resources

So there you have it – 30 awesome Point Reyes hiking trails offering diverse landscapes, ecosystems and experiences within this spectacular northern California national seashore. Whether you’re looking for an easy family stroll, challenging summit ascent, secluded beach walk or multi-day backpacking adventure, Point Reyes has an incredible trail waiting to be explored. Just pick a route that fits your skill level and start making your way along the wild and scenic paths of this natural wonderland. Happy hiking!

Save To Read Later:

Similar Posts