Bay Area Day Trips - Point Reyes National Seashore

Some places linger in your mind's eye long after you leave them. Our trip to Matanuska Glacier in Alaska was definitely one of them; its been almost 3 years but I can still see the blueness of the ice and feel the pureness of the place to this day. But then you would expect that from Alaska. When we drove 2 hours north of San Francisco to visit Point Reyes National Seashore area, we thought we were visiting a lighthouse in a scenic location. From our trip to Point Loma lighthouse in San Diego, I knew lighthouse locations are pretty scenic. But Point Reyes hit me like a lightning when I was just expecting a drizzleAlmost 6 months after I visited it, I can still see the wilderness and feel the rawness of Mother Nature. I have no doubt in my mind that this was the best 'Bay Area Day Trip' that we took so far.

There are a lot of places that I would like to return to, but this is a place that I know I would. I will share a few pictures with you, none of which in any way capture the magic of the place. You just have to trust me on this and drive along the long winding path into what might seem like nothingness to soak in the wilderness. Take a deep breath and climb down the 300 steps to the lighthouse. The views are great, but there is much more to this area than the lighthouse and I can't wait to explore. But beware, Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent, windy usually during spring and winter and foggy especially in the summer months. I think that just adds to the magic of the place.

These views are on the way to the lighthouse, which most people visit. But this area offers several thousands of acres of natural beauty and is a great place to witness whale migrations, salmon spawning, tule elk rutting and other wildlife phenomena. So, we chose another beautiful spring day to visit lovely Point Reyes.

This time we did the 1.75 mile round-trip Chimney Rock Trail that is close to the lighthouse. It is one of the best trails to do in spring with such rewarding ocean views and bright wildflowers within a span of a mile. We also enjoyed watching elephant seals basking in the sun at different locations. They always remind me to take a pause and relax :) 

We had lunch watching these elephant seals
We then visited the Tomales Point area which is towards the northern end of Point Reyes. It is a popular destination to view tule elk, wildflowers and birds. Tomales Point Trail is a 9.7 mile round-trip hike, of which we did about 3 miles and hope to return another day to complete the trail. The first mile of the trail had spectacular ocean views and tons of wildflowers in a serene environment. It is hard to ask for more!

This place is definitely one of the treasures of Bay Area and a place that I hope to explore as much as I can. If you are looking for some expert guidance in this wonderland, Point Reyes National Seashore Association offers several interesting classes and tours for those interested which you can check out here.

Happy exploring!


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