Estero to Sunset Beach
ElevationAscent: 623' 190 m
Descent: -623' -190 m
High: 160' 49 m
Low: 13' 4 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
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“This is an isolated out-and-back exploration of several wonderful Pt. Reyes estuaries.”— Megan W
Family Friendly This hike can easily be shortened as it is an out-and-back. Kids will love looking for birds and getting their feet muddy!
Trek downhill to another pond and then up to a knoll with a lone eucalyptus tree. One more climb brings you to the junction with the worthwhile Sunset Beach trail. Take the Sunset Beach trail south through grassland and scrub on a wide, easy trail. The gentle downhill passes a pond, skirts a hillside, and offers views Bull Point to the northeast across Drakes Estero.
On park maps, the Sunset Beach Trail ends at the pond, but if conditions are not too muddy continue on the fading trail to the small rocky beach across from Limantour spit. Find the strangely shaped sandstone boulders on this beach. If the weather is clear you can see Chimney Rock in the distance across the water. Retrace your steps to cpmplete this out-and-back.
Avoid going off trail as poison oak is prevalent in this area. Also, good boots make the muddy areas more passable, although sometimes it is better to simply turn back if rains or cattle have made a mess of the trail- don't damage it further. Note: bikes are allowed on the Estero and Sunset Beach Trails.
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ADA Accessible, Need to Know, History & Background
Land Manager: National Park Service - Point Reyes National Seashore