Point Reyes National Seashore

An adventurous journey with 10+ mile hikes
Trek into the wilderness and sleep in the backcountry
Ideal for first-timers
Places we've visited and fallen in love with

Walking to Wildcat Beach and Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore

Walking to Wildcat Beach and Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore

Walking to Wildcat Beach and Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore

Walking to Wildcat Beach and Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore

Walking to Wildcat Beach and Alamere Falls at Point Reyes National Seashore

Designed by Yvonne Leow

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Last updated
March 8, 2022

Trip · 3-day backpacking trip

For · Friends and new backpackers

Vibe · Challenging and hard

Distance · 19.6 miles and 3,894 feet of elevation gain

Reservations · Yep, reserve a backcountry campsite at Glen Campground

Drive · 1.5 hours from SF

Ideal dates · April to June

Pets · Not allowed on trails and campgrounds

Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) is a majestic peninsula carved by the San Andreas Fault overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The 71,000-acre park is a stunner. It's dotted with wild coastal beaches, rugged headlands, and grazing cows. This place is a natural sanctuary for tule elk, elephant seals, gray whales, and more. Visit for the breathtaking views, and camp to experience the magic.

Official National Park Website

Park Status and Trail Conditions​

Directions To Trailhead

Main image credit: Sammie Chaffin

Stuff to know

  • The last 12 miles to the trailhead is a bumpy forest service road. It's doable in a car, but 4WD is recommended.
  • Apply for and print out a CA campfire permit before your trip. It only takes a few minutes to complete online.
  • Welcome to bear country! Rent or bring a bear canister to store your food overnight.
  • Face masks and social distancing are required. Stay safe out there!

Resources

Check the weather
Wide view of Point Reyes National Seashore

Where to camp

Glen Campground

Each campsite comes with a:

  • Picnic table
  • Food storage locker
  • Fire ring and bbq grate
  • Space for about three two-person tents
  • Shared toilets (on site)
  • Trash collection (on site)

Glen Campground is a backcountry destination with perks. It's a 5-mile hike to reach the campground, which is protected from ocean breezes, and then another 3-mile hike to reach the Pacific. There are 12 campsites (people like sites 1, 2, 6, 7, and 8), access to toilets, a water pump, trash cans, and glorious tranquility. You can reserve a campsite up to six months in advance so it's never too early to make backpacking plans!

Nightly Fee: $20

Glen Campground
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Itinerary

Day One

Entrance to Brickmaiden
Entrance to Brickmaiden. Credit: Yelp

Leave SF by 10 AM and swing by Brickmaiden Breads for lunch

  • Located at 40 4th Street in Point Reyes Station
  • Locals love their scones, sandwiches, anything baked, really.
  • They're open Thursdays to Sundays · 8 AM to 2 PM
  • Last pit stop · Point Reyes Station - 11401 CA-1 in Point Reyes Station

Drive to Five Brooks trailhead and begin your backcountry adventure

  • Display a copy of your campsite reservation on car dash.
    It's a 5-mile hike with about 1,950 ft. of elevation through coastal woodlands to reach camp.
  • Hike for about a mile on Stewart Trail
  • Bear right onto Greenpicker Trail and hike for 2 miles
  • Reach Fir Top and take Stewart Trail again for 0.3 miles downhill
  • At the junction, take Greenpicker Trail again for 1 mile until you reach Glen Camp Loop
  • Follow Glen Camp Loop Trail downhill for 0.7 miles to camp

Settle in and set up camp

  • Treat yo' self to a late-afternoon snack. Prep dinner, dessert, and enjoy an evening of relaxing and stargazing. You made it!

Car to camp: 5 miles - 1,950 feet of elevation gain - 3 to 4 hours

JFK anointed Point Reyes National Seashore as public land in 1962. It's the only national seashore on the west coast. NBD.

Day Two

Wildcat Beach
Wildcat Beach. Credit: Wikimedia

Make brunch and prep for a day hike to Wildcat Beach

  • Pack a daypack with food, sunscreen, jacket, water filter and top off your water supply.
  • It's a moderate 6-mile round-trip hike, with 1,300 ft. of elevation, to one of PRNS's longest and widest beaches.
  • Once you arrive, enjoy an afternoon picnic with oceanside views.

Of if you're feeling ambitious, keep hiking to Alamere Falls

  • From Wildcat Beach it's another 3.2 mile roundtrip hike, with 670 feet of elevation, to Alamere Falls.
  • Take Ocean Lake Loop and Coast Trail for 1.6 miles to reach the falls.
  • The falls may be dry in late-summer, but you'll still be rewarded with panoramic ocean views.

Return to camp and unwind

  • Prep a delicious meal and warm up with your favorite hot bevvie.
  • Soak up your last night in Point Reyes!
Coast Miwok Indians were the first inhabitants on the Peninsula 5,000 years ago. 120+ known village sites exist within the park

DAY THREE

Greenpicker Trail
Greenpicker Trail. Credit: AllTrails

Cook up brekkie, pack up, and pack out before noon

  • Load up your backpack, snacks, and refill your water supply for the return hike
  • Clean up around camp, and throw away any random pieces of litter

Trek back to Five Brooks Trailhead

  • Take Glen Camp Loop to Greenpicker Trail
  • At the junction, take Stewart Trail for 0.3 miles
  • Veer left to take Greenpicker Trail again for 2 miles
  • From Greenpicker, take Stewart Trail back to the parking lot

Head home!

Camp to car: 5 miles - 1,950 feet of elevation gain - 3 to 4 hours

Spanish explorers named the headlands after religious figures. "La Punta de los Reyes" means the Point of the Kings

Packing List

Essential Items
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Clothing
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Personal Stuff
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Camp Kitchen
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Shared Gear
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Recommended gear

Essential Items

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