Enjoy this unique and densely forested loop in the Point Reyes National Seashore where, ironically, the ocean doesn't make an appearance.
This hike utilizes the Stewart
Trails within the Point Reyes National Seashore to bring you to Firtop Summit
in a roughly 7 mile loop originating and ending at Five Brooks along Highway 1.
Following Highway 1 up from Stinson Beach for about 9 miles you'll com across the the turnoff for Five Brooks Road, which has a large parking area for the trailhead at the end of it.
From the parking area start the hike on the dirt road that will soon take you past a pond on your left. Soon after the pond you enter a forest predominantly populated by Douglas fir trees that you'll remain in for the majority of the hike. 0.4 miles into the hike the path will intersect with a trail named Olema Valley
, stay on the Stewart
and it will start to gain some elevation. The climb is never too aggressive, but it lasts the length of the hike until you reach Firtop Summit
. Following Stewart
over some switchbacks you'll eventually reach an intersection with Greenpicker
at 1.1 miles into the hike.
Venture onto the Greenpicker
Trail, which will take you higher up the hill and closer to the summit. Along the way you might be able to catch some great views of the Olema Valley and Bolinas Ridge through the tall trees. Continue to follow the trail until you reach the meadow at the Firtop Summit
. With Firtop being the second highest peak in the Point Reyes National Seashore at 1,324ft, the summit is a great place to picnic, although there aren't any significant views since the meadow is surrounded by fir trees.
When you're ready to make your way back down, rejoin Stewart
, which intersects with Greenpicker
near the summit meadow. Following Stewart
, the path will ascend to the east for a short amount of time before returning into the forest and down the mountain. The descent will eventually hit the Ridge Trail 3.8 miles into the length of the whole hike. Avoid taking the turn for the Ridge Trail and continue along Stewart
for the entirety of the way back to the trailhead and parking area.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Expect to be trekking through expansive areas of Douglas Fir trees for the majority of the hike.