Backpacking Pt. Reyes: Day 2
Point Reyes Travel Blog› entry 14 of 18 › view all entries
We were all pretty sore and tired when we woke up at Glen Camp, but we still had over 8 miles to go. We packed up all our stuff and headed out of the forest and back toward the Coast trail. After a mile or so, we came out of the forest and into green meadows high over the ocean. The trail descended steeply from there, winding past beautiful overlooks, all the way down to the ocean's edge.
After a couple of miles, we reached Arch Rock, the highlight of the trip for me. From above, the rock just looks like a kinda cool outcrop over the ocean. But down below, it's actually an arch, where the ocean pounds up against the beach. Sarah and I scrambled down the side of the cliff to a stream that flows down through the arch. The water was crisp and cold and felt amazing in the hot sun.
By clinging to the side of the cliff, you can actually wind your way around and sit right in front of the arch, with the beach below and the crashing waves coming right up to you. It's really awesome. There's a small beach area, too, the the left of the arch, where you can just chill and enjoy the ocean.
After Arch Rock, the Coast trail winds further north, through open meadows and over streams and bridges. About 3 miles past Arch Rock is the split off to Sculptured Beach, a desolate stretch of sand underneath high sandstone cliffs. The sand isn't great here, but the attraction is in the weird shale and limestone outcrops that pockmark the beach like a moonscape. There's a small sign pointing out the split-off trail, which winds down a pretty, shaded path lined by purple irises.
We had a choice at Sculptured Beach -- head back up the hill to the trail, or attempt to follow the beach and catch up with the trail later. We figured it might be a bit shorter, so we just hiked along the beach for a while. The sand stretched onward for a while -- at least to our tired legs sinking in the sand -- but before long we came upon people just hanging out on the beach -- civilization!
We were just below Coast Camp, in a little feild right over the beach. We followed a small, unmarked trail up, and from there, we followed the Coast Trail for another 1.5 miles. There, the Coast trail curves off and heads into the hills toward the Youth Hostel. We spit off and headed to the beach again, walking through the now fine-grained sand all the way back to Limantour parking lot.