Duxbury Reef, at Agate County Beach Park in Bolinas, is absolutely one of the best places on the California coast to explore the tide pools at low tide. And on this day, we'll have a minus tide from about 8:30 am to noon....so we can actually sleep in a little and still have plenty of time to see all the wonders the receding tide leaves behind. With the sun so low in the sky and the water still as glass, it's a photographer's paradise.
This is an exploration and we're not really sure what we'll find or how far the low tide will let us travel in any direction. But the plan is to hike along the beach, stop and explore, hike and stop and explore some more. So please bring your sense of adventure and discovery! With the low tide, hiking along the beach should be relatively easy as the sand will be wet and compacted. And we should be able to put in 4 to 6 miles in addition to crawling around the tidepools where another world awaits: a busy world full of sea stars, octupi, anemones, fish, crabs, urchins, limpets, nudibranch's, and more, all left behind on the soft shale reef that extends for hundreds of feet into the ocean.
Bring shoes, with non-skid soles, you don't mind getting wet for the tidepooling portion of the hike. (Note the sea urchins in the picture above......those spines are sharp! You might also want to wear some gloves so you can do some serious poking around. And, just in case you get wetter than expected, a change of clothes. Just saying.....
Difficulty: Easy - moderate with slippery rocks around the tidepools.
Duration: About about 4 hours
Lunch: Pack a lunch
Shoes: Shoes you don't mind getting wet. If you wear wool socks, your feet will stay warm even when wet.
Clothing: As always, dress in layers as it could be cold and foggy in the morning hours. And don't forget the change of clothes!
Facilities: at Agate County Beach Park
Dogs?: none allowed
Directions to Agate Beach County Park and Duxbury Reef
(Allow 30 minutes for the drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.)
From the Bear Valley Visitor Center, head north 0.2 miles (0.3 km) to Bear Valley Road.
- Turn right and follow Bear Valley Road 0.5 miles (0.8 km) east to Highway 1.
- Turn right and follow Highway 1 9.3 miles (14.9 km) south to the Olema-Bolinas Road. Note: There are no large signs for this intersection. If you end up with a large body of water or mudflats (Bolinas Lagoon) on your right, you missed the intersection.
- Turn right and follow the Olema-Bolinas Road 1.3 miles (2.1 km) south to the junction with Horseshoe Hill Road.
- Turn left and follow the Olema-Bolinas Road 0.5 miles (0.8 km) south to Mesa Road.
- Turn right and follow Mesa Road 0.7 miles (1.1 km) west to Overlook Drive.
- Turn left and follow Overlooks Drive 0.5 miles (0.8 km) southto Elm Road.
- Turn right and follow Elm Road 1 mile (1.6 km) east to the junction of Ocean Parkway.
- The parking lot for Agate Beach County Park is ahead and to the left.
First and foremost, come prepared to drive. Be aware that there may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. We determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work! Most importantly, arrive with time to spare......
PLEASE, if possible, try to use the three locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.
- WINDSOR:Safeway lot across from (the now closed) Dennys, depart by 7:00am http://goo.gl/maps/6V9K7
- SANTA ROSA: Coddingtown Mall parking lot in front of the Coddingtown library to leave by 7:15 http://goo.gl/maps/dBMKd
- PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 7:30 am http://goo.gl/maps/xA0qm
- Other - e.g. Marin, Napa, etc. Please suggest time and place in comments section, below.
If you are planning on joining a carpool, mention so in the comments section below so that others may be on the look-out for you there (though there won't be anyone with a 'Wanderers' sign, or anything)
And don't forget to help pay for gas! The general rule of thumb for riders is: $5 if it is one hour or less to the trailhead, and $8 if it is moe than one hour to the trailhead. Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!
Please read and be familiar with the guidelines of the group as listed below.
It’s important before you come on a Wanderer hike that you agree and are prepared with the following:
- We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. We maintain a steady pace and just keep going! If you are in the lead you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group. At waiting points the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace averages 2.5 mph. We do get separated from time to time as everyone walks their own pace, but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within a reasonable distance from the group. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and will enjoy.
- Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments to the hike details. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
- Bring your hiking safety essentials, layered clothing, plenty of water and food appropriate for the outing. And don't forget your smile and your sense of adventure.
- Only RSVP when you can commit to attend. Once you have RSVP'd, if you have an emergency that means you have to cancel, please change your RSVP by 5pm the prior day. This will avoid a "no-show" reflecting on your participation history. (More than 3 "no-shows" might mean we have to excuse you from the group.) We try very hard to respect each other in this group.
- Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival.
See you there!