Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the most beautiful sights in Northern California. I am so happy I finally made it up the coast to spend the afternoon exploring the park. It is definitely a must visit sight, and I am actually embarrassed I grew up and lived most of my life in the bay area without visiting sooner. Lucky for me, I have a friend who recently moved to the area and is up for an adventure.
We headed up the coast from San Francisco, Saturday morning, and were fortunate to not have any traffic along the way. The drive is pleasant, through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin. From there the drive is a straight shot, well a windy road that takes you through a few small towns and directly into the park. We stopped along the road in a small town to grab food before heading into the park.
Once in the park, we went directly towards the lighthouse area. It is another 20 miles on Sir Frances Drake Blvd to the entrance of the lighthouse. The lighthouse area contains a few trails that lead to various lookout points. The Lighthouse is on the tip of the peninsula, and many of the lookouts have water views on both sides. We stopped and walked a few of these trails before going to explore the lighthouse.
After exploring a few trails, we walked toward the Lighthouse. Once you walk to the top of the lighthouse, it was amazing to see what comes next; a long narrow set of stairs takes you down to the lighthouse itself.
We spent around 30 minutes walking around and through the lighthouse buildings. The buildings have historical information on the inside, which gives interesting history on the building and its usage over the years. we posed for a few pictures and talked to a few others who were avoiding making the hike back up the stairs.
I heard somebody along the walk saying there are 300+ steps, and while the walk down is a breeze, the walk back up can take a little out of you. One last pose before the inevitable walk back up.
There are many hiking trails at Point Reyes. We limited ourselves to just exploring the lighthouse area, but if you are in it for a longer day I would definitely recommend researching additional trails before getting out to the park. This leads me to a few tips for traveling to Point Reyes.
Cell phone reception is very limited. We had directions to get to the lighthouse and that was about it. The whole drive we joked about getting stranded, but really, if you’re making a few stops, figure out the directions beforehand.
There are cows, and lots of them. There are even sections of the road that are designated cow crossing streets. We were stuck for a few minutes as a heard of cows crossed our path as we were leaving.
Bring food and water. There are several small towns(think very small) outside of Point Reyes to grab food to pack for lunch. As mentioned earlier, we stopped at a deli to grab some food before we set off for our hike.
Keep in mind the roads are curvy, sometimes narrow, sometimes unmarked and can have steep inclines/declines. Take your time, allow extra time for travel and keep your eyes on the road!