This 8-mile round trip hike is at the southern end of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The trail is fairly level, going through trees, along the coast and past a lake before descending to a series of waterfalls. There may be wildflowers along the way. We can eat lunch on the bluff above the tallest waterfall or scramble down a steep incline to the beach.
This hike starts with a short walk through a wonderful smelling Eucalyptus forest, after which you exit to the beginning of simply stunning ocean vistas, which you'll enjoy for more than half of this hike. We'll wind through wooded areas, and also take a small detour to see 3 ponds that are off the main trail but are really nice to check out. Often you can see lots of salamanders and frogs in the ponds.
We'll continue by Bass Lake, and take a short, 2/10s of a mile detour to walk down to Bass Lake. Bass Lake is one of the few lakes in the bay area where swimming is allowed. When it's warm here, Bass Lake has crystal clear waters, easy in and out areas to the water, a rope swing, and cool but not too cold water. All in all, it's a very pleasant place to take a dip on a sunny day, and I'll probably be leading a Bass Lake swim day in the summer as well.
Distance: About 8 miles
Difficulty: 4/10, Supportive hiking boots recommended
Other: Wildflowers will be going crazy this time of year. If it's a particularly warm day, bring a swim suit as we'll stop to take a dip in Bass Lake if it's warm enough.
From US 101 in Marin County, exit CA 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach. Drive on Shoreline Highway to the junction with Almonte, about 1 mile. Turn left on CA 1 and drive about 2.5 miles to the junction with Panoramic. Continue straight on CA 1 about 13 miles to an unsigned junction with Olema-Bolinas Road (just past Bolinas Marsh). Turn left. Drive 0.1 mile to a T intersection with Olema-Bolinas Road, turn left, drive about 1 mile to the junction with Horseshoe Hill Road, and again, turn left. Drive to the next stop sign, then turn right onto Mesa Road. Drive about 4 miles, then continue the last 1 mile on the dirt road to the trailhead at the end of the road. If you have a high-clearance vehicle, take it. The road isn't terrible, but can be washed out and bumpy.
I am able to carpool up to three people. Let me know if you would like to share a ride from the Oakland area.