Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore

Difficulty - Easy
Length - 1.4mi
Crowds - Moderate
Fees - Free
Best Season(s) - Summer

Before the Point Reyes landform ends at Tomales Point there are two final beaches along this beautiful stretch of coastline. Kehoe Beach & McClures Beach, Kehoe is more of the classic sandy beach and McClure's is more of a photogenic rock pile.

Driving Directions:

From Olema take Hwy 1 North (2.0mi)
Left on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. (6.4mi)
Right on Pierce Point Rd (5.5mi)
Parking located on either side of the road

First bluffs near the trail's end.

From the parking lot it is a somewhat lengthy 0.7 mile hike out to Kehoe beach. For those lugging chairs, coolers, and all manner of blankets out to this gem of a beach take note that .7 miles feels a bit more like 1.5 miles. Especially since the last stretch is through soft sand, I ended up extending my tripod and using it like a trekking pole. Kehoe is the second to last beach on the Point Reyes National Seashore before the whole thing ends at Tomales Bluff. Way out to the left is the lighthouse, and to the right, the sheer cliffs leading over to McClures beach. Kehoe is the furthest north sand beach in Point Reyes.

Not surprisingly the weather is especially rough out here, Point Reyes juts out substantially from the rest of the coastline meaning the threat of riptides is fairly substantial. Kehoe Beach is therefore not a swimming beach. It is however a phenomneal bonfire beach. The massive cliffs that loom over the north end of the beach provide a few areas for a group to take over and hang out.

The frothy north end of the beach

When Beylah and I set our feet down in the sand we discovered a beach mired in thick fog, though it was especially dense that evening the summertime does not bring the kind of weather to beaches you'll find in southern california. In fact the winter is often the best time to hang out on Kehoe Beach and enjoy a sunset.

Recently revealed tidepools.

Between the marsh, and the craggy north end of the beach, with tidepools galore, there is plenty to explore on this unique stretch of coastline. Beylah and I did not time our return back to the car well though, even at our brisk pace we ended up hiking with headlamps for at least half a mile even though we stayed only a few moments after sunset.

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