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To-Do Map

Hiked on 1/21.

Well marked trail, slightly muddy conditions, but that's to be expected this time of year.

Hiked counterclockwise and regretted it. Should actually read the reviews here more thoroughly...

More like 16 miles.

The last two miles are very steep.

Lots of good and diverse views

Some tips to maximize your trip: take the extra half mile to take the spur trail out to arch rock! We took glen on the way in and arch rock on the way out and the arch rock loop was about 10x as much ocean view as the glen trail route. So I recommend taking bear valley to arch rock then wildcat. Another tip is try to time your visit to alamere falls with a lower tide. There’s a bit of a spot that you have to time your run around the rocks between waves at higher water and it is a bit sketchy. (We had to run through and then the waves would crash 10 ft up the cliff).

GOVT SHUTDOWN cond as of 1/21/19: trails were in rough shape but completely doable. Lots of trees down over the trails (to climb over). Bathrooms at bear valley and wildcat were open. Water was shut off at wildcat.

Point Reyes NS is an incredibly beautiful, serene, and biodiverse place. Just relax and listen to the soundscapes!!

A most excellent hike. 15 miles and about 3900 feet of gain. I hiked clockwise like other reviewers have suggested and glad I did. Not as rocky as I thought it would be though. Not much of a view due to clouds and fog but I was not disappointed. Only saw two other hikers. 6.5 hours with a half hour hanging out in the Visitor’s Center having lunch. Can’t wait to hike more trails in this stellar park.

Started early for this hike: on road by 6 on the trail by 730. Easy parking early ona. Cold winter's day but easy to imagine the town fills up fast under different circumstances. I took the Matt Davis trail up to the inn and then the old fire road to the fern trail. Nothing to challenging I may try to attack it from the willow camp trail next time since it's more challenging. Beautiful views, lots of clearly marked trails, hard to get lost.

Really nice hike, but be forewarned that it's very popular from the trailhead to the 4th junction (about a mile from the confluence with the shoreline trails).

Having said that, we saw 3 groups closing out the loop on the sky trail, making for a very strange but pleasant juxtaposition.

We also did the short spur to the Kahlem (?) Beach. It's only 0.5 miles each way, and pretty much made the hike. The beach was beautiful, and we shared it with 3 other groups, 6 people in total.

As can be inferred, we did the loop clockwise. What's nice about that is that the majority of the uphill is the first section of sky trail. From there to just below Mt. Wittenberg is flat to slightly uphill, really easy cruising.

However, the least enjoyable part of the trail was from just below Wittenberg back to Bear Valley. It's relatively steep, and for me that's not very fun. I'd much rather do sections like that as uphill than downhill. If you're like me in that preference, then do the loop counterclockwise.

A last note on the rating: I think 5 stars is rare, personal preference. Not everything is "amazing". I originally gave this 4 stars, then thought again. We did this in the middle of "winter", therefore there were no flowers anywhere. Given how much of this is under significant cover I'm gonna guess there's never many flowers, but others had commented on it, so I guess there might be nicer times to do this. I think it's a solid 3-star hike, however on the ultimate test (would I do it again?) the answer would be "no". It's not a bad hike by any means, but there's tons of other stuff to do. So it was great doing it, no regrets, but there's nothing amazing. Closest was the beach, and technically that's not part of this hike, as it's laid out.

Attention - the route shown is Bear Valley to Arch Rock. It does not go to Wildcat and Alamere Falls as indicated in the title, which would be a considerably longer and more strenuous hike.

This hike is good for kids if they are fairly strong hikers as it is a bit long: very easy to follow trails, shallow grades, varied and beautiful country, and a gorgeous ocean vista at the end. “Arch rock” collapsed some time ago, though, so don’t expect that.

As an alternative Bear Valley trail is very nice for biking. It is basically a fire road and very well maintained. It is a good beginner MTB ride suitable for kids but if you go fast on the downhill bits there are a few fun sections for more experienced riders too (of course be in control and conscientious of the hikers and equestrians you’ll be sharing the trail with). There is a rack at the end of the Bear Valley trail and you can hike from there. Doing it this way cuts down the time commitment considerably!

I enjoyed this trail on New Year's Eve with my wife and loved every bit of it. Monument Peak is a much better alternative to Mission Peak. The trail offers a nice mix of challenging climbs, some technical decents, and great views without the ridiculous crowds that you find on Mission Peak. This is by far my favorite hike in the East Bay. I recommend this trail without hesitation.

This is a spectacular hike especially in the winter. Diablo, Tamalpais and Mt. St. Helena were all visible. I’m glad I brought my Aqua Mira with me since I only brought two liters of water. The creek at the bottom of the canyon was flowing well.
If you are looking for sweeping views, diverse ecosystems and a great workout, this hike is for you.

This was a challenging one for sure. We started out from the Mitchell Canyon Visitor Center around 10:30am and we went clockwise through Eagle Point Trail. This was the recommended route from many other reviewers, and we are so glad we took their advice. The incline to the summit was at times pretty rough with steep inclines. Especially when you're close to the summit, there were long stretches of just uphill. There is a really nice visitor center at the top for you to learn about the park's ecosystem, and pretty stunning panoramic views of the bay area. It's pretty windy and cold at the top, so dress accordingly. The route back down through the Campground Trail was, thankfully, not too rocky and not slippery, which can be really rough on your knees. It was actually a nice descend as the sun was beginning to set. By the time we got back to the visitor center it was about 5:30pm. My only minor gripe with this trail was that near the summit, you'll see that there are a bunch of cars and tourists that just made the drive up to the summit, and it just kinda takes away from the seclusion you get throughout the entire trip. Otherwise, its definitely a challenging but rewarding hike that you'll be proud to have completed. Just be prepared for it being chilly up top, bring food for the long hike, and bring head lamps just it takes longer than you expect and it gets dark.

Awesome day hike. Challenging but very worth it. Incredible views of the Pacific Ocean at the beginning. You then dip into the redwoods before climbing about 1800’ to the summit of pole mountain. On top you have 360 degree views. Very well maintained path. About 4000 elevation gain and descent on my route and 18 miles. Sea to Sky on the way up and side trail of Russian gulch on way back (steep section out of Russian gulch). Stream crossing before pole Mtn climb was running well. Next time I will bring Sawyer filter and pack 2L instead of 4L of water (I drink a lot). Sun exposure the whole time besides brief redwood section. Highly reccomended. Pick a clear day the views are awesome. Took me close to 8 hours with a 30lb pack and weighing 300lbs+ with lunch and breaks. Gate opens at 8AM and locks at sunset.

Hiked in about 4 hours but only because a ranger was afraid I wouldn’t make it before the sunset so I really hauled ass. Otherwise I’d plan for 5-6 hours. Also, saw a mountain lion in the area (far enough away from the trail to still hike but keep an eye out). Really great views of the ocean, looks great at sunset. And fun drive to the actual hike.

A good work out- 22.7 kms from Olema Campgrounds and back. Walked the extra 0.2 mile to the summit of Mt Wittenberg but no view?
Tried to get to the Arched Rock outlook but the trail has been covered in slashed branches to prevent passage. Very good quality trail but needed more views of the ocean. Still a good work out.

It’s a great walk with changing terrain and great views, especially at the summit. 25.5 kms in 5 hrs 26 minutes- including 30 minutes lunch at the top and chatting on route. There are cattle on route but very quiet Belted Galloway’s. Saw a young bobcat too and mountain lions have been sighted lately. The trail head parking lot fills up quick and not RV friendly. Take water! 2 litres per person for December, even. There is one creek crossing but it isn’t too deep. Highly recommend!

Great if you are backpacking to one of the camps. Route on recording is longer than needed. Continue on Glen Trial to Coast Glen Spur/Stewart Trial for quickest route (6.4) to Wildcat Camp. Monitor tide chart but the Beach Walk is best! If you are going for a day hike for the falls start at Palomarin.

Great park. The trail is long but mostly smooth fire roads. Very well maintained. Took 7 hours including break for lunch and time to enjoy the spectacular views. 16 miles according to my gps.

15 miles but well worth it. It’s the length not the terrain that makes this Hard. No poison oak to worry about. However, very high exposure (~70%) and no water stations enroute so pack it in. Dogs welcome in all lower areas; just not beyond the Pole Summit gate. This is a privately owned park with Public access. Very well maintained. I encourage hikers to check it out. Gate locks for the night at Sunset.

We did this on october 27. The views are absolutely briliant. Very hard towards the peak. Steep and a lot of stairs. The beauty of all of the hike is breathtaking. Took us 8 hours. :) we went up the fern trail and oh boy was it hard. Like super hard.

A nice trail going thru different temparature zones and resulting ecosystem. if its the rainforest like feel in the deep ravine trail, its the virtual hard rubble brush in the upper fern creek trail. Would rate it as an easy to moderate depending upon the hiking level. we are an east bay based hiking group and have trained on the mt. diablo for longer hikes. comparitively this is mellow and not much challenges . the only difference was the length which makes it seem tougher. The climd upto panatoll staging area is very scenic and lively. beyond depending upon the path you take - old grade road or matt davis trail to upper fern creek - it can be easy or tough. we took the fire road and it turned out to be an easy hike, except for the sun which was out hot and bright,. the view from the top is amazing and worth the hike. on the way back took the rock scamble behind the lookout and then the fern creek trail. it was a good downward trail, well maintained. the trail from panatoll to the beach thru matt davis travis is mostly smooth except for the switchbacks which caused the max strain. overall a good long hike.

3 months ago

Some beautiful scenery but trail not well marked, a number of intersections with no clues as to what goes where. Restroom facilities gross.

This hike will easily separate the mountain goats from the average hiker. Expect to finish in 4-5 hours if you are average. I smoked this bad boy in sub 3 hours including all my small breaks. Not the prettiest hike in the world but it’s a great workout if you get after it! Make sure you have decent grip on your shoes... I went clockwise and really glad I did. It will start off steep and have lots of loose rocks. Some parts were pretty tricky to get down (for me at least) because it was so steep and my shoes didn’t have the best traction. Once you make it up to the top it’s a pretty smooth and easy way back if you go clockwise. Holla at ya boy if you get sub 3 hours on this one!

This trail is great for running and hiking. It took me just over 3 hours to complete, and it was well worth it. Well maintained trails in beautiful forests and redwood groves in the lower loop, and more challenging rocky terrain with beautiful views in the upper loop. Bring plenty of water and download the map ahead of time!

This trail has the best trail markers I have ever seen showing the trail path.
There is a lot of sun so be prepared, bring 2 to 3 liters of water..
The 360 degree view when you reach the summit is incredible.
Expect about 6 1/2 Hour hike + stops
The gate for the parking lot gets locked at sunset.

This is a pretty cool hike. You get to see a couple different landscapes and dropping into the forest setting is really nice and a great reward from potential sun. Long stretches offer very little shade so on a hot day this could be rough. I'd say this leans more on the moderate side of hard. Yes it's long and has a good deal of elevation but it never feels that bad. If you're an avid hiker this shouldn't be to bad for you. Views from the summit are great and you get nice views on the way back of the ocean too. Very nice hike, I'd definitely recommend if you're in the area. We completed a little under 6 hours with a break at the peak for lunch. This isn't 15 miles though, if you stay on track it'll end up almost exactly 16 miles.

It was sooo hard! (Hiking that many miles) we thought out endurance level was great. But this trail proved us wrong. Haha. Would I do it again? No. Only if my endurance level is higher(; but the wild life on the trail was amazing. And the views were breath taking(:

3 months ago

Scenery: 3
Views: 4
Difficulty: 4
Crowds: 2
Shade: 2

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

3 months ago

The views are sweeping, not unlike Mission Peak, minus the crowds. The trail is meandering and goes up and down, but is almost fully exposed. The path is a mix between dirt road and hiking trails. There's a good amount of breeze to keep you cool, and both hand gliders and paragliders sailing in the sky. Entry into the park is $6. Worth it for the solitude.

Section of Redwood Creek Trail is currently closed, but you can follow the Highway for 0.5 miles and catch the trail afterwards. Heather Cutoff is also currently closed. Large part of the trail is exposed.

It is longer than 12. Great hike overall. For the big ballers. Soreness is a virtue

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