The Beautiful Peninsula of Point Reyes, California
Point Reyes is a beautiful destination on the northern coast of California, just 30 miles north of San Francisco. It’s a popular hiking destination for nearby city residents, but remains uncrowded nearly all year. Point Reyes National Seashore is a protected area, famous for its rolling fog that blankets the area and often even covers the Point Reyes Lighthouse entirely.
Here you can enjoy hundreds of acres of pristine rolling meadows, all leading to one of the most dramatic pieces of California coastline in the state. If you’re looking for seclusion and true Pacific beauty, this is it. The amazing views will truly take your breath away.
Point Reyes Lighthouse
The lighthouse at Point Reyes is unlike many lighthouses left in America: it serves a purpose. Most lighthouses in the country are either decommissioned, or exist solely as a historical preservation. Lighting from nearby cities and communities at night largely has made lighthouses unnecessary. Point Reyes is located in a remote area that isn’t close to any large cities that provide light. The coast is very rough and dangerous. The peninsula is a giant cliff with no beach, so shipwrecking isn’t an option.
That’s why Point Reyes Lighthouse is so necessary! As a functioning light station, it continues to aid ships off the coast away from the treacherous jagged coast of Point Reyes.
Point Reyes Beaches
Point Reyes contains several popular beaches to hike to, like Kehoe Beach, McClures Beach, Kelham Beach, and Drakes Beach. These beaches provide stunning ocean views, large backdrop cliffs, and an abundance of wildlife like Elephant seals, colorful starfish, and many species of birds. These beaches are a short walk from the road, some less than a mile, a few that are a couple of miles from the road. All are well worth the walk and will afford extraordinary views.
Year round, the temperature at Point Reyes stays relatively cool most of the time. It’s a good idea to bring a sweatshirt, even in the summer months.
One of the most surprising and dramatic parts of Point Reyes is the earthquake line that occurs inland, the San Andreas fault. This can be found on The Earthquake Trail on Point Reyes. The entire peninsula shifted about 18 feet north in just about a minute from the famous 1906 San Francisco earthquake. While much of the fault line is not immediately apparent, there are marker points that indicate where the fault line is present.
If you’re staying in San Francisco, Point Reyes is just one hour to the north over the Golden Gate Bridge (Highway 101) to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. It’s a great compliment to any driving trip along Big Sur, and is also not too far from nearby Napa, Sonoma, and San Jose.