Do you ever feel like you are being followed on your hikes? We had an adorable sea lion pacing us as we briskly walked along the seashore to Sculpture Beach. I kept seeing a little black head popping up out of the waves and watching us as we were trying to beat the tide coming back in. He was probably wondering why there were these two crazy people on the beach so early in the morning!
Point Reyes was having minus tides (super low tide) which allows for great tide pooling and exploring of beaches and caves otherwise hidden by the ocean. Check out the local tides and watch for these to happen again! It’s well worth getting up super early to experience this! We got our booties on the road by 6 AM from Santa Rosa which also meant no traffic so getting to Point Reyes National Seashore was only about an hour from us. We headed down Limantour Road (this ends where we ended up the weekend before when we took the wrong turn…just goes to show it’s not always a “wrong” turn) to the end and hung a left to go to the smaller parking lot to give us a .2 mile gain on the walk (and a potty break). Remember to dress accordingly here, you will be walking along the ocean in the sand 90% of the time and also scrambling over rocks so choose your footwear carefully as well.
Since we knew we had to get out to Sculpture Beach and back before the tides came back in I didn’t stop to take too many pics on the way out and every time I tried to take one of our friendly sea lion he would duck back down in the water. We were following tracks of another couple and then a deer joined them at some point…or they were following the tracks of the deer either way we knew they hadn’t made their way back toward us. We finally ran into the nice couple who were on their way back and told us where to go to see the caves and that we needed to hurry up since the tide was coming back in. I did not want to be one of those silly people stuck out on the rocks and have to be rescued so off we hustled to the arched rocks and caves!
Seriously amazed every time we are surrounded by the beauty here at how mother nature works. Rock formations jutting out in the ocean and providing hidden little spots for sea creatures, rock formations straight up in the air, arches in the rocks, and caves going under the earth. So amazing! We walked through a couple arches then up and over some large rocks sprawling out to the ocean and came upon the cave I was looking for. It was a pretty wide and tall opening, then got lower and smaller toward the back. We had the flashlight on but neither of us were brave enough to go all the way to the back. Who knows what would have been back there (remember Goonies??)! So I snapped a few pics and we walked around and explored the tide pools safely out of the cave.
We had about another 30 minutes before we would have to wade through the waves to get back around the point and to Limantour Beach so we explored quickly and spread out to see what all we could find. The sea creatures were everywhere and very shy. Every time we got close the little crawling things they would run away, the crabs froze as if they were part of the rocks, and the happy starfish waved at us while the anemone’s just hung around.
Heading back over the rocks was a little more challenging than the way out. I apparently need to work on my upper body strength so I can lift myself up and over parts of the rocks. Take head there, it took some careful calculating to get both of us over. It was a nice walk back being able to stop and take pics at my leisure. The fog was just lifting and we had more expansive views of the shoreline starting to fill up with people.
The hike out and back is about 6 miles round trip and in sand. My app doesn’t account for the sand part so I think we burned a few more calories than it said we did (yay!). Take lots of water, good shoes, warm layers, and a fully charged camera….it’s so worth the trip! Oh, and on your way out of town stop in Point Reyes Station at Toby’s Coffee Bar…I am still craving their super smooth Americano. Best one ever!
Where’s your favorite place to refuel after a hike?