If you’ve got a car, good company, and some time to kill, camping in the Bay Area is just a stone’s throw away. Saturday night campsites are generally booked months in advance. Weeknights? You’ll have a better chance. I was stuck in the Bay Area one Saturday for a Chainsmokers concert. A quick browse on recreation.gov showed a Friday night Glen Camp site at Point Reyes National Seashore. I whipped out my credit card with lightning speeds, and within seconds, a campsite nestled in the woods was mine.
Tag: point reyes
Point Reyes National Seashore is one of California’s hidden gems. Outshone by more famous national parks in the state, it’s a bit of a local secret. That’s not to say it isn’t as equally busy, or as hard to score a campsite, as the state’s other national parks. The backcountry campsites at Point Reyes are always booked months in advance. I’ve day hiked there numerous times, but sleeping out there under the fog is something that I’ve never done until this past spring. After months of torrential downpour earlier this year, a site opened up at Coast Camp in for a Saturday in March. With no plans on the horizon, I grabbed it immediately.
When your friend calls you up and says let’s check out the Point Reyes Lighthouse at sunset and watch some whales, you cancel all your plans and say yes!
Saturday afternoon, I hopped in the car and drove out to Point Reyes National Seashore. We were super lucky and had almost no fog obscuring our view. The curtains in the lighthouse were rolled back, showing off the golden beams on the rocks around us. We got the chance to pop into the lighthouse lens. The glass was handmade in France in 1867 before it made its voyage to Point Reyes.
After over two years of non-stop commuting, I finally pulled the trigger and moved to San Francisco! Most of my free time thus far has been devoted to settling into the new place and trying to establish a sense of normalcy with all of my newfound time. Seriously, I went from commuting for about 4 hours every day to a 15 minute commute, if I walk extra slowly.
The boyfriend and I are not sports people; instead we hit the trails on Super Bowl Sunday, knowing that most people would be gone. Our first trail of choice since becoming San Francisco residents? Arch Rock in Point Reyes National Seashore.
Hike: Palomarin trail to Alamere Falls and back
Where: Point Reyes, CA
Duration: 5 hours and 3 minutes
Length: Approximately 8 miles round trip
Fitbit Steps: 24,585
CamelBak Aventura Hydration Pack – 100 fl. oz.,
REI Sahara Convertible Pants with No-Sit Zips, Triple Aught Design Artemis hoodie,
The North Face Resolve Rain Jacket, &
The North Face Hedgehog Guide GTX Hiking Shoes
This hike from the Palomarin trailhead to Alamere Falls is a moderately easy, but decently long hike. Start at the trailhead and follow signs for the falls. Early into the hike, underneath a grove of eucalyptus trees, there is a small trail to the left leading to the coast. This little offshoot leads you through green hills to a rocky beach (read: dinosaur egg rocky) that has the potential to be absolutely gorgeous in not-foggy weather.
Continue on the trail past Bass Lake until you reach a sign that points to Alamere Falls through some underbrush. If you are up for a potentially poison oak-y adventure and getting hit in the face by shrubbery, take this trail to reach the waterfall and a sandy beach. Your shell will come in handy to protect your clothing and skin from PO and snagglies.
Once you get out of the brush, begin your descent down to the first set of mini-falls of Alamere Falls. Beautiful, but small.
Cross the stream and continue down to the top of the big falls. Look over the edge if you dare. The crumbly rock face to your right will be your way down. It’s easiest to just jump off onto the first ledge, and then run the rest of the way down onto the sandy beach . The rock is incredibly fragile and does not do well with force.
Run around and frolick in the sand, have lunch, enjoy the beach and waterfall. Then head back the way you came to get back to the trailhead.
All in all, this is a good hike if you’re out for a mellow day. It’s not strenuous and the scenery is gorgeous. The only downside is Point Reyes is a bit of a hike (ha!) if you live in the South Bay like me.
Note: This trail gets very muddy and run out when it has been raining. Proceed with caution.
Additionally, if you are not a fan of seeing people everywhere in nature, this is not the hike for you.