Coast Trail

Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Elevation Gain2,928ft
Trailhead Elevation261ft
Elevation Min/Max38/586ft
Elevation Start/End261/261ft

Coast Trail

Coast Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Marin County, California. It is within Point Reyes National Seashore and Phillip Burton Wilderness Area. It is 15.9 miles long and begins at 261 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,928 feet. The Palomarin Trailhead and Coast Trailhead informations are near the trailhead. There is also parking. The 2, Coast Camp, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, 11, 13, 1, 9, 3, 8, 10, 14, and 12 camp sites and the Arch Rock viewpoint can be seen along the trail. There are also a coastline and a tree along the trail. The trail ends near the Wildcat Campground camp site. This trail connects with the following: Bass Lake, Pelican Hill Trail, Palomarin Trail, Alamere Falls, Coast Glen Spur, Stewart, Sky Trail, Fire Lane Trail, Kelham Beach Trail, Woodward Valley Trail, Coast Glen Spur Nort, Old Out Road, Ocean Lake Loop, Lake Ranch Trail, Crystal Lake Trail, Bear Valley Trail and Sculptured Beach Trail.

Coast Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This diverse loop travels exposed coastal bluffs, shaded Douglas-fir forests, and peaceful ridgetop meadows. You’ll have exhilarating viewsalong the coast, climb to the top of Inverness Ridge, and then headsouth along its crest to return. The loop finishes with a short stint onMesa Road, the dirt road you drove on to reach the trailhead. Theopen bluffs offer no protection from the elements—dress accordinglyto insulate yourself from sun, wind, or fog."

"This section of the Coast Trail is an old farm road that meanders through coastal scrub along the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean before climbing to the “lakes district” of Point Reyes National Seashore. Ten-acre Bass Lake is the first of five lakes in the district, and may be fit for swimming on a warm afternoon. The lake is nestled in a beautiful setting, with its shores shaded in fir trees. The hike is relatively strenuous—a rather long distance of uneven, rambling trail. Park activities include walking and picnicking. Camping is by permit only. No dogs or bikes are permitted on this trail. There is no fee."

"This hike follows the Coast trail past ponds and lakes to Wildcat Camp where you can make a side trip to Alamere Falls. Good views. Poison oak possible."

"Seals, swimming, whales, wildflowers, and a waterfall! This trip along the Coast Trail offers numerous activities and destinations, depending on your stamina. Picnic and swim at freshwater Bass Lake, look for wildlife from coastal promontories, and visit dramatic Alamere Falls and the ocean. With a camping permit, you can spend a night at Wildcat Camp."

"This hike travels the length of Point Reyes’ Philip Burton Wilderness on the Coast Trail, a point-topoint journey that never leaves the oceanside as it cruises by secluded beaches, exceptional views, a beautiful waterfall, and two coastside camping areas. Gentle trails and ready access from the Bay Area further highlight this trip."

"This pleasant ramble along the seaside bluffs ends in a small meadow on the north shore of pretty Bass Lake. When considering a body of water as a destination at the Point Reyes National Seashore, a lake generally doesn’t come to mind. But the southern portion of the park is dotted with lovely lakes, Bass Lake being one of the prettiest and certainly the easiest to reach. Insulated by thick riparian plants and dense fir forest, the waters of the lake are opaque, antique bottle green under the sun and almost black in the fog, nearly always still and reflective. Access to the shoreline is difficult—there is no beach—but trekkers can reach the waterside from a small meadow on the north side of the lake. It’s perfect place to enjoy a picnic or to rest before the trek back to Palomarin."

Coast Trail Reviews

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Easy hike to the best campground in Point Reyes. Campsite #6 is especially recommended if you can reserve it, as it has tend pads right on the bluff with a 180-degree view of the ocean, Drake's Bay, Point Reyes, and in good weather, the Farallons and Alamere Falls.
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MAKE THIS TRIP!! One of the best backpacking trips I have ever taken. Just make sure to make your reservation way in advance. I called about a month and a half ahead of time and i grab the last spot. There is a very limited amount of spots so plan way ahead. But well worth any hassle. It was beautiful and more dynamic at every turn. Every lake had its own charm and the falls are just amazing. We saw newts, elk, snakes, countless birds so to say the least wildlife was abundant. The trail was so packed with interesting sites that the miles just melted away. For being quite a developed site wildcat camp was perfect. You feel almost like you are camping on the beach. Even with a full campground we still felt like we had a relative solitude. Not having to dig a hole to poop in was also nice. Having the beach so close was fantastic, we were able to make a fire on the beach enjoy some whiskey and just really enjoy relaxing after a day of hiking. I loved this hike and cant wait to do it again.
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We made a three day trip of it, staying @ Wildcat the first night and Glen Camp the second. Great trail, even for beginners. There are some rollings ups and downs, but nothing steep in either direction and you are coast side the whole time. There is a loop toward the end and both trails dump you at the entrance to Wildcat. Stay left on the Ocean View trail - the extra up and down is worth the view! The Vistas are incredible~they just keep getting better! Alamere Falls is worth the scratches and scraps of the unmaintained trail (signs warn you), but wear pants if you choose to do this because the trail is filled with poison oak! Wildcat Camp is on a bluff overlooking the beach, with easy beach access. The Forest Service allows bon fires on the beach, and there is lots of drift wood. We sat on the beach both during sunset and sunrise. Who could ask for more?

Coast Trail Photos

Trail Information

Point Reyes National Seashore
Nearby City
Phillip Burton Wilderness Area
Point Reyes National Seashore
Local Contacts
USGS 7.5-min. Inverness and Double Point; Point Reyes National Seashore and West Marin Parklands by Wilderness Press; Tom Harrison’s Point Reyes National Seashore
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018