Point Reyes – Coast Camp to Glen Camp Loop

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore

First backpacking trip of the year and I’m happy to report that it was a blast!  This was a great way to test out some of my new gear, practice setting up my tarp shelter and deal with a little rain.  We drove over on Tuesday morning and picked up our permit from the Bear Valley Visitors Center around noon.  From there we headed over to the Laguna Trailhead and headed down the Coast Trail.  The trail was exploding with wildflowers since the weather had been so nice in the previous weeks before we got there.

Not sure what this is, but it was pretty

Not sure what this is, but it was pretty

Lupine in full bloom

Lupine in full bloom

Beautiful Iris

Beautiful Iris

Something called a Firecracker?

Something called a Firecracker?

Looks like purple fried eggs

Looks like purple fried eggs

Right at Coast Camp, you are greeted with a trail down to the beach; a nice place to stop after the first couple miles. But the first really gorgeous views you get are at Arch Rock. We took a moment here to take some pictures and have a snack. Simply amazing.

PRArchRock03

View from Arch Rock

PRArchRock01

View from Arch Rock

Next we continued on the Bear Valley Trail toward the Glen Camp Loop Trail which brings you into a beautiful canopied forested area. This section of trail follows a creek lined with mossy trees – quite a relaxing walk.

Bear Valley Trail

Bear Valley Trail

And finally after about 10 miles of hiking we arrive at our camp for the night: Glen Camp.  Comprised of 8 sites, Glen Camp is the most inland of the backcountry camps in Point Reyes (which also makes it the easiest to reserve for a more last minute trip.)  It also has a couple of pit toilets, trash/recycling bins and potable water.  We were quite comfortable in spot number 7.

View from Site 7

View from Site 7

Glen Camp

Glen Camp

The boys decided to share a tent, but I was prepared to practice with my bivy sack and tarp shelter.  After waking up to rain and the fact that I was completely dry, I’d say it was a success!

Tarp Shelter with Bivy

Tarp Shelter with Bivy

After a very casual morning (the boys got up around 9:30am whereas I’d been up since 6:30am enjoying some quiet time), we packed up and headed out of camp to finish out our last 8 miles beginning on the remainder of the Glen Loop Trail.  This section was actually more of a access/fire road then a trail so we took advantage of being able to walk next to each other for a change.  After a short walk we arrive at the junction for the Glen Trail.  This trail was a very welcoming forested area and a fairly flat portion which proved to be helpful considering what we would encounter next on the Baldy Trail.

Glen Trail

Glen Trail

Glen Trail

Glen Trail

Me on Glen Trail

Me on Glen Trail

Holy crap.  Straight.  Up.  Hill.  It seemed like it would never end.  Fortunately the reason for all of that climbing is made clear when you reach expansive views of the coast and Drakes Bay.

Coastal View

Coastal View

Coastal View

Coastal View

Coastal View

Coastal View

Happy Girl

Happy Girl

In the end, I think we had a very successful trip.  I can’t wait to get out there again.

I definitely learned a few things:

  • REI is like Home Depot.  When you think you have everything, you find yourself needing to go back to buy what you forgot or return/exchange what you though would work.
  • Breathable hiking boots are definitely not water resistant to hiking through miles of wet grass and brush.  I had soggy feet in a matter of minutes.
  • I need a more packable sleeping bag.  Not only does my synthetic 20 degree bag weigh over 5 pounds, but it was like wrestling a hyena trying to fit it into a compression sack small enough to fit in my pack.
  • Trekking poles are amazingly useful and versatile pieces of equipment.  I don’t know how I would have made it up the Baldy Trail without them.

And in case you were wondering, of course we took craft beer and it was definitely worth the extra weight.  Also, check out my Gear Reviews section now that I’ve had the opportunity to test some of my gear!  Cheers!

21st Amendment Brew Free or Die! IPA

21st Amendment Brew Free or Die! IPA

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