|Abbotts Lagoon Trailhead,
Point Reyes National Seashore,
National Park Service
2.3 mile out and back hike along a lagoon, leading to a sandy beach.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
Very easy. This 2.3 mile out and back hike with about 50 feet in elevation change is a good outing for beginners.
Dirt trail that shifts to loose sand as the route reaches the turn-around point.
Good anytime, although often muddy in winter and early spring.
From US 101 in Marin County, exit San Anselmo (Sir Francis Drake). Drive about 20 miles west on Sir Francis Drake. Turn right onto Highway 1, then after about 0.1 mile, make the first left onto Bear Valley Road. Drive about 2 miles to the junction with Sir Francis Drake, and turn left. Drive about 5 miles to the junction with Pierce Point Road, and turn right. Continue about 3 miles more to the trailhead on the left side of the road.
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
GPS coordinates* for trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Gas, food, and lodging:
Pay phone, stores, and restaurants back on Sir Francis Drake in Inverness. Gas in Point Reyes Station. There are overnight accommodations available on the eastern fringes of the park, including a handful of motels in Inverness, and numerous bed and breakfasts just off Sir Francis Drake. Point Reyes has several hike-in campgrounds -- inquire at the Point Reyes Ranger Station in Bear Valley, or read more about the options here. No car camping in the park. Point Reyes Hostel, down Limantour Road, is an inexpensive lodging option.
No entrance or parking fees. Plenty of parking in a dirt lot. Pit toilets on site. There's a map under glass at the information signboard, but none to take with you. There are 2 designated handicapped parking spots, and the first 0.4 mile of the trail is wheelchair accessible. There is no direct public transit to this trailhead.
No dogs. No bikes. No horses permitted past the 1 mile mark (with no outlet you will probably not encounter equestrians on this out-and-back hike).
The Official Story:
Point Reyes website.
Bear Valley Visitor Center (Ranger Station) 415-464-5100
Use AAA's San Francisco Bay Region map to get there.
Download the park map pdf from NPS
Other Point Reyes maps from NPS
Hiking Marin, by Don and Kay Martin, has a simple map and trail descriptions (order this book from Amazon.com).
Point Reyes by Jessica Lage (order this book from Amazon.com) has a good map and descriptions of this hike.
Trail Map of Point Reyes National Seashore, by Tom Harrison (order from Amazon.com) is the best all-purpose map to Point Reyes.
101 Great Hikes of the San Francisco Bay Area, by Ann Marie Brown (order this book from Amazon.com) has a simple map and descriptions of this hike.
Abbotts Lagoon in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.
View photos from the hike (2002)
View 34 photos from the featured hike (2000)
Lagoon is proof that good things do come
in small packages, and that short hikes can be as exciting and eventful
(or quiet and peaceful) as long ones. After visiting Chimney Rock in the
spring of 2000, I decided to take a quick hike at Abbotts Lagoon before
heading home. I'm glad I did, because Abbotts Lagoon had a calm and bucolic
vibe, while the mood at Chimney Rock was frenzied. There were too many
people at Chimney Rock; only a few hikers at the lagoon. Wildflower spotting
can seem like a competitive sport at Chimney Rock, with cameras slung
over aficionados' shoulders like weapons. At Abbotts Lagoon, I saw wildflowers
in abundance along the sides of the trail, and in one secret spot where
I stood in quiet solitude and awe at the wonder of spring blossoms.