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
Main image credit: Sammie Chaffin
Each campsite comes with a:
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
JFK anointed Point Reyes National Seashore as public land in 1962. It's the only national seashore on the west coast. NBD.
Coast Miwok Indians were the first inhabitants on the Peninsula 5,000 years ago. 120+ known village sites exist within the park
Spanish explorers named the headlands after religious figures. "La Punta de los Reyes" means the Point of the Kings
Don't leave the car without a first aid kit. Stuff happens out in the wild and you always want to be prepared.
They're expensive, but you can lean on these bad boys for river crossings and navigating all kinds of terrain.
Light as a feather and versatile enough to use for running, camping, and other nighttime activities.
It's a heavier, bulkier pillow for ultralight backpackers, but you're guaranteed a good night's sleep.
Add up to 14 degrees of warmth and keep your sleeping bag nice and clean with this mummy liner.
Handmade in Seattle, Washington, this sleeping bag is pricey, but you can count on it lasting for years.
A spacious sleeping bag that will help you stay warm for spring, summer, and fall camping.
Winner of the REI Editor's Choice Award, this bag is warm and light, coming in a little over three pounds.
This pack weighs two pounds, has 7 pockets, and has a built-in seat pad, but it can only carry up to 30 pounds.
If you're an experienced backpacker, this is the lightest full-size, full-featured, frameless pack made.
You won't be saving money, but you'll save space and weight with these camp sandals.
These comfortable, breathable, quick drying undies are designed for surviving long treks.
Made with 60% merino wool, these pricey socks are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Lightweight, grippy, and breathable shoes made for navigating all kinds of trails and terrain.
These down pants will keep you and your legs warm in the chilliest of nights.
Never dig around your pack to find some hand sanitizer. Instead, hang this one on the outside of your pack.
Whether it's coffee or cocoa, bring a silicone mug like this one into the wild. Your tummy will thank you.
Don't let the backcountry stop you from enjoying a hot, quality drip coffee in the morning.
This lightweight pot is for backpackers who want to enjoy warm and cold soaked meals.
These bamboo utensils are designed for the backcountry, and conveniently comes with a travel pouch.
A popular, pricier backpacking stove that's an ounce heavier, but is reliable in the wildest envrionments.
Add a little magic to your experience by hanging these twinkling lights around your tent every night.
Leave your backpacking pack at camp, and use this sleek, compressible pack for day hikes.
Feel fresh, clean, and renewed after each hike with these thick, durable, aloe-infused wet wipes.
The more you backpack the lighter your shelter becomes, and the lighter it is, the more expensive it can be.
You'll always need to bring your hiking poles to use this tent, but it only weighs a little over two pounds.