Limantour Beach to Mount Wittenberg Loop is a 14.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Point Reyes Station, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, camping, horses, and backpacking. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
14.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,919 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

This is a loop with a nice range of scenery to enjoy but the nearly 2000 feet aggregated elevation gain requires a respectable dose of stamina. On the positive side, even on a sunny day, there is a lot of coverage/shade on most of the route except, of course, on the coast line. The loop starts beach itself for a very short distance before reaching the Muddy Hollow trail, which heads north-east by the side of a small estuary. This section is essentially flat, with view of marshes and narrow water channels. It ends at a dirt road to follow for about 1/4 mile. The second section follows the BayView trail which start flat but soon ascends steadily for about a mile to Limantour Road (at the 800 ft mark). It then follows the road countour, a few dozen yards down-slope, for about a mile until it reaches the Sky Trailhead parking lot (650 ft elevation). The Sky trail starts as a fire-road to follow for about 3/4 of a mile to its junction with the Horse trail. This section is a fairly sustained ascent again to get to the 1000 feet level or so. The next section follows the Horse Trail to its junction with Z-ranch. This offers rare views to the north-east toward Tomales Bay, on a single-track trail by the side of a steep-ish slope. The Z-ranch trail (rather luxuriant after the previous sections) ascends some more before leveling out at approximately 1250 feet. This section is quite enjoyable with lush greenery, flat-ish trail and less traffic. The Z-ranch trail ends at the hair-pin turnout to Mt Wittenberg. Going up to Mt Wittenberg summit is a .25 mile spur. The summit is anti-climactic. No much of a view, just a small clearing. Down from the summit, the faster way to reach the Sky trail again is to go straight via the Mt Wittenberg trail in a southerly direction. The way to the coast is via the Sky trail for about .8 miles and then the Woodard Valley trail for 2 miles. The last .75 miles break out of tree cover and offer sweeping views of the Point Reyes coast and the Coast Trail. The Woodard Valley trail finally T-bones into the Coast Trail that winds its way back to Limantour beach, following the coast line, passing through the Coast Camp site. There are a few use trails climbing down to the beach from the top of the bluff; you can follow once of these (careful with footing!) and walk the last half mile or so on the wet sand.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail has it all: a beautiful beach, mountain views (elevation gain) and plenty of wildlife. An excellent workout with perfect temperatures. Just be aware of poison oak in different parts of the many trails that comprise it (wear long pants).

hiking
Sunday, October 01, 2017