|McClure's Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, California|
For a change of scenery from our house in Oakland we did an expedition last week to Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County and hiked down to McClure's beach, the northernmost beach on the Pacific side of the long peninsula. It was the perfect Covid destination, with so much room for social distancing that we could barely see the few other people who were there. (We did our trip on a weekday–which also helped reduce the number of people.) It was also the perfect choice temperature-wise on a warm summer day--not too cold and not too hot.
|Near the end of the trail to McClure's Beach.|
Point Reyes is a long peninsula, about an hour’s drive north of the San Francisco Bay area. The west side faces the Pacific Ocean, where heavy surf pounds the shore underneath steep cliffs. The east side faces much calmer Tomales Bay, a narrow strip of water dividing Point Reyes from the mainland. The south facing part of the peninsula is on Drake’s Bay, named after the English explorer Sir Francis Drake, who is believed to have landed there on his trip around the world in 1579.
|Pierce Point Ranch with Tomales Bay to the East|
|Historical marker at Pierce Point Ranch. The ranch was established in the 1820s by James Berry, a Mexican citizen, who lost it in a land dispute after California became a state. In 1858, the land was sold to the Pierce family.|
|Trail to the beach is .4 miles down a sandy path.|
|At the end of the trail, flowers bloom along the edge of a shallow pond at the base of the cliff.|
|Walking north on McClure's Beach|
|Kelp and mussel shells|
|The last curve of the road before arriving at Pierce Point Ranch. At the top of the photo, the white spot is Bird Rock, located just off Tomales Point, the extreme northern tip of Point Reyes.|
There are many options for hikes at Point Reyes. We plan to go back in the future and try some of the other trails.
Map: Click HERE for a map of Point Reyes.
Note: The Point Reyes visitor centers are currently closed, as are some of the trails and roads. Be sure to consult the Point Reyes National Park website for current information.
As of September 23, the area and all trails south of Limantour Road and Bear Valley Road, west of Highway 1 (aka Shoreline Highway), and north of Stewart Trail are closed to all visitor access until further notice.