Difficulty - Moderate
Length - 18.5mi
Crowds - Busy
Fees - Free
Best Season(s) - Any
There is so much to see and experience at Point Reyes often it is daunting determining exactly can be realistically squeezed in in a single trip. Fortunately the coast trail is a good place to start and hits a considerable number of highlights. It stretches out across the park from the Point Reyes Hostel to the Palomarin Trailhead at the south end of the park. It passes landmarks like Sculptured Beach, Arch Rock, Double Point, and Alamere Falls and is in close proximity to 3 of the 4 backpacking camps and remains generally pretty flat and easy to hike.
Day 1 : Limantour Beach to Glen Camp
Departing from the Limantour beach parking lot provides a very unique way to begin a backpacking trip, though the sand, along the beach. From Limantour to Coast Camp we plodded along through the compacted sand of the beach passing old couples holding hands and children flying kites. We might have looked crazy lumbering down the coast as waves gently lapped at the ground near our feet. Of course Beylah and I could not have been having more fun. By keeping close to the water we stayed on relatively firm sand and didn't find the hiking much more difficult than a regular dirt trail.
Near coast camp a trail turns inland away from the beaches and meets up quickly with the coast trail. At this point the route finally starts to feel like a backpacking trip and less of a sunday stroll. Coast camp itself looks like a very nice spot to camp, mostly sheltered from the wind by a small bluff but within a few hundred feet of the beach.