Kehoe Beach,
Point Reyes National Seashore,
National Park Service, Marin County
In brief:
This hike to Kehoe Beach is easy enough for almost everyone, but long enough to discourage visitors who prefer to tour Point Reyes exclusively by car.

Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 1.2 mile out and back hike is easy, with minimal elevation change.

Exposure:
Full sun.

Trail traffic
:
Moderate-heavy.

Trail surfaces
:
Sandy trails.

Hiking time
:
Under 1 hour.

Season
:
Wonderful in summer.

Getting there:
From US 101 in Marin County, exit San Anselmo (Sir Francis Drake Boulevard). Drive about 20 miles west on Sir Francis Drake. Turn right onto CA 1, then 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 and bear right onto Pierce Point Road. Continue 5.5 miles to side of road parking.

Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
http://www.transitandtrails.org/trailheads/371

GPS coordinates* for trailhead:
Latitude 38 9'9.55"N
Longitude
12256'20.66"W
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)

Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, stores, and restaurants at Point Reyes Station. There are a few stores and restaurants in Inverness, and overnight accommodations are 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.

Trailhead details:
No entrance or parking fees. Side of road parking, with no designated handicapped parking. Pit toilets on site. There's a map under glass at the information signboard, but none to take with you. There is no direct public transportation to this trailhead.

Rules:
Hikers only. Dogs are permitted on the trail to the beach, and must be on a leash at all times; the leash must be no longer than 6 feet. Due to threatened snowy plover habitat, dogs are not allowed on the beach south of the trail at Kehoe Beach.

The Official Story:
Point Reyes website.
Park headquarters 415-663-1092.

Map Choices:
Download the park map pdf from NPS
Other Point Reyes maps from NPS
• Point Reyes by Jessica Lage (order this book from Amazon.com) has a good map and descriptions of this trail.
Trail Map of Point Reyes National Seashore, by Tom Harrison (order from Amazon.com) is the best all-purpose map to Point Reyes.
• Don and Kay Martin's Point Reyes National Seashore: A Hiking and Nature Guide (order this book from Amazon.com) has a map and description of this hike. Much of the information is duplicated in their Hiking Marin book (order this book from Amazon.com), but the Point Reyes book has some nice extras.


Kehoe Beach in a nutshell -- a printable, text-only guide to the featured hike.



Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page


Kehoe Beach,an easy 0.6 mile walk from roadside parking at Pierce Point Road, is a perfect excursion for families with small kids or anyone looking to explore one of Point Reyes's sandy beaches without a long hike.Trailhead This hike is enjoyable year round, but wildflower lovers hunting for blooms in April should definitely add Kehoe Beach to their short list, for a great display of flowers on a bluff above the beach.
     Dogs owners will want to hike here too, since the trail to Kehoe Beach is one of a handful of Point Reyes paths where dogs are permitted (on leash only, and note that the beach south of the trail is off limits to dogs).
      Begin from the roadside parking area on the unnamed trail. Trail to Kehoe BeachA short distance past the pit toilets, look for salmonberries in a dense thicket on the left. Salmonberry vegetation is similar to blackberry, but the flowers are a shocking pink, and the large orange-red berries shine like jewels in the sun. The narrow path heads west toward the ocean, following the course of a small stream, to the south. Low grassy hills rise up on the right. One damp spot on the trail can be extra muddy.In early spring,blooming mustard plants crowd the trail in some sections, nearly obscuring it. Spring flowers above Kehoe BeachYellow bush lupine becomes increasingly common, and the trail shifts to loose sand, rising slightly as it approaches the beach. A few feet past a bench on the left, look for a slight path on the right (this is a spring-only suggestion). This little path ascends easily onto a shelf above the beach, and here in April a combination of goldenfields and tidytips flush the hillside to the north yellow. You might also see California poppies and a variety of lupines in this mix. The path affords great views of the ocean, as well as the shoreline to the north and south. View northAfter enjoying the flowers, return to the main trail, turn right, and descend to the beach.
     This is a classic, sandy Point Reyes Beach, lovely and perfect unless the wind is howling, or when summer fog blows in. Explore at your leisure, and when ready, retrace your steps back to the trailhead.




Total distance: 1.20 miles
Last hiked: May 24, 2013
Previous visit: April 13, 2005