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Bay Area Backcountry Buddies Message Board › 50 miler: Point Reyes to San Francisco

50 miler: Point Reyes to San Francisco

Richard
MrRedwood
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 43
I spoke with a number of folks at the Mission Bowling Club about a three-day, fifty-miler from Point Reyes down to San Francisco.

It did plot out fairly nicely, but I decided not to try it in the immediate future, since days are still pretty short and (almost) twenty-mile days on a route I've never done before is pushing things a bit. Later in the season, probably.

The routed is mapped out at Google Maps, here. (Annoyingly, Google split it up into two pages, which is very strange for a map. Look at the bottom of the list for the arrow to the next page.)

The first day, if starting at the Inverness Store (where the West Marin Stagecoach bus stops) is 18.1 miles to Glen Camp. (Wildcat Camp is also possible; it would be a little further, and add a small amount to the following day, but could swing past Alamere Falls).

The second day, from Glen Camp to Pantoll Campground on Mount Tamalpais, is 19.3 miles.

The third and final day is 15.5 miles, and ends at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Obviously, that isn't the end of the day, so where people live, parked, etc., would change things.

Here are the stats, per GPSvisualizer.com:
Distance: 52.92 mi
Elevation gain: 14046 ft
Elevation loss: -13834 ft

The elevation profile:

The image is 1860x860; quite big enough to read the words and see the details; to see the full sized version, click through or go to http://goo.gl/ujzyqO...­

Anyone who wants to use this info for a hike is, of course, welcome to it. Comments are welcome, too.
Michael
user 125532162
Petaluma, CA
Post #: 29
Sound very cool !! But might be a bit much... ( for me at least ) What if you added a day to decrease the daily mileage?
Cheers,
Michael
Richard
MrRedwood
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 44
What if you added a day to decrease the daily mileage?
The difficulty is that there aren't too many places to camp, and it already fills up a long weekend as is. I'll take a look — it would be possible to use a Marin Headlands campsite to break up the last day, but that day is already the shortest.

And while two nights could be spent in Pt Reyes, I don't think there is anything between Glen (or Wildcat) Camp and Pantoll, so the second day can't be cut down much.
A former member
Post #: 16
I was thinking of this same kind of trip myself, part of the problem is how quickly the spots book up. I was thinking wildcat, steep ravine or something in the Headlands.

michael
A former member
Post #: 17
I was thinking of this same kind of trip myself, part of the problem is how quickly the spots book up. I was thinking wildcat, steep ravine or something in the Headlands.

michael
A former member
Post #: 18
I was thinking of this same kind of trip myself, part of the problem is how quickly the spots book up. I was thinking wildcat, steep ravine or something in the Headlands.

michael
David T.
davidtaus
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 8
i actually did this in reverse a couple winters ago. the waypoints:

Start: SF. Anywhere really, i started in the inner richmond
Day 1: Hawk camp (headlands, free, NPS registration)
Day 2: Pantoll (hiker/biker $5, mt. tam state park)
Day 3: super secret stealth camp on Bolinas Ridge, near jct of bolinas ridge road and randall trail. (free, definitely not kosher though. could be subbed for a frontcountry night to stinson beach)
Day 4: Glen Camp (reserveamerica.com, $15? to extend the trip a day, you could day 4 wildcat, day 5 sky camp)
Exit at Bear Valley VC, could easily be Inverness though

that way days are under 12 miles. it was a really cool experience to do this, a legit unsupported backpacking trip literally right out my door! highly recommend it.
Richard
MrRedwood
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 51
Day 3: super secret stealth camp on Bolinas Ridge, near jct of bolinas ridge road and randall trail. (free, definitely not kosher though. could be subbed for a frontcountry night to stinson beach)
That's the key. There is no legitimate camping spot in the very long stretch from Glen Camp to Pantoll, and by sticking with the shortest path between the two (still too long), one is forced to go down the ridgeline of southern Point Reyes, which it turns out is pretty boring. Too much canopy to have views, so there isn't even a hint that one is hiking within a National Seashore. The Ridge Trail also isn't very well maintained, and there is no place to even stop for a break. The nature of the terrain means there are quite literally no rocks in sight, and certainly not big enough to use as "camp furniture", and fallen logs decay too quickly to be useful.

When I had to deal with some emerging blisters (my hiking boots were past their useful life, it turns out), I had no place to sit but on the ground. Same when I was making brunch.

A stopping place in or very close to Bolinas would break this up nicely, because it would make sense to go down to Wild Cat camp, and to Bolinas via Alamere Falls, etc., staying on the coast the whole way. The hike from Bolinas to Pantoll would still be somewhat long, but then it would be manageable.

I did end up doing it in two and a quarter days: five or so miles from Bear Valley to Glen Camp in the evening after taking the bus in; twenty-plus miles to Pantoll; then twenty-plus miles back into San Francisco.

But honestly, I can't recommend it. Find a bed-and-breakfast in Bolinas in the middle, and add in camping at Haypress or Hawk in the Marin headlands, and this would be a much better three-day hike.
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