Laguna Trail - Fire Trail - Coast Trail Loop, Point Reyes: Laguna Trailhead, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California
Laguna Trail - Fire Trail - Coast Trail Loop - 5.05 miles
Point Reyes: Laguna Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||5.05 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||120' - 10' (382' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-110' net elevation loss (+540' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Laguna Trail - Fire Trail - Coast Trail Loop - 5.05 Miles Round-Trip
The Laguna Trail, Fire Trail and northernmost section of the Coast Trail form a diverse loop through chaparral-covered hills to bluffs over Santa Maria Beach. The route features panoramic ocean views, mild grades and easy beach access. Trail runners will enjoy graded sections and the option to extend travel on the Coast Trail. The following description begins on the Laguna Trail and travels counter-clockwise:
Keep straight on the Fire Trail through a coastal valley (1.0 mile : 346') framed by a lush ravine and hillsides touched by the 1995 Vision Fire. In 1.2 miles the valley opens and drops with expanding views of Drakes Bay to the Fire Trail - Coast Trail split (1.85 miles : 52').
Bear right on the Coast Trail (a left turn here crosses the aforementioned ravine and leads to Coast Camp and beach access). The Coast Trail - a wide, hard-packed gravel path - bends north up the coast and levels atop low-rising bluffs over Santa Maria Beach (2.0 miles : 22').
Views stretch south for miles across pristine coastline, and north and west to Limantour Spit, Drakes Beach and Chimney Rock.
Avoid trampling sensitive bluff and dune vegetation on the 10-20' drop to the beach. Dunes are held together by the root systems of specialized plants, protecting inland communities from harsh coastal elements and tidal surges; when these plant communities are compromised the dunes can collapse and expose more vulnerable inland areas. Only use designated access points to reach Santa Maria Beach.
The closest option is a spur from Coast Camp, located .2 miles north of the Fire Trail - Coast Trail junction. A second access point is 2.85 miles from the trailhead where Santa Maria Beach meets Limantour Beach.
The former point spills out under bluffs and places you within reach of Sculptured Beach to the south; the latter is best for those heading up Limantour Beach and Spit.
Shortly beyond the 2.85 mile beach access spur the Coast Trail curls inland and begins a winding climb back to the trailhead. Heading northeast, the trail eschews a small pond (look for birds) and meanders through a shady stretch of alders, a welcome reprieve after several fully exposed miles.
In 3.75 miles the trail rises above the timber and into a wide, non-descript valley. The hiking trail ends at the Coast Trailhead on Point Reyes Youth Hostel Road (4.75 miles : 108'), which you'll take (right) back to Laguna Trailhead to complete the loop (5.05 miles : 120').
- N38 02.598 W122 51.496 — 0.0 miles : Laguna Trailhead
- N38 01.952 W122 51.329 — .85 miles : Fire Trail junction
- N38 01.427 W122 51.280 — 1.5 miles : Moderate descent to coast
- N38 01.179 W122 51.311 — 1.85 miles : Fire Trail - Coast Trail junction
- N38 01.334 W122 52.178 — 2.85 miles : Limantour Beach access spur
- N38 01.911 W122 52.298 — 3.75 miles : Winding, mild climb to trailhead
- N38 02.625 W122 51.820 — 4.75 miles : Coast Trailhead on access road
- N38 02.598 W122 51.496 — 5.05 miles : Laguna Trailhead
- Good trail conditions, mild grades and beach access make this loop an excellent choice for runners.
- By way of the beach, Sculptured Beach is approximately 1.2 miles from the Coast Camp access spur. Sculptured Beach features tide pools, turbulent coves and a distinguished arch. Be mindful of tides and allow enough time to safely return the way you came.
- The east end of Limantour Spit is approximately 1.3 miles from the 2.85 mile access point. Limantour Spit is renowned for its dunes, birds and seal watching. Those with time should consider these enjoyable excursions.
- Portions of this loop trail are used by hikers, bikers and equestrians. Share the trail and yield as directed.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is by permit only. Camping permits must be obtained from the Bear Valley Visitor Center before starting your trip. If you have made a reservation and are arriving after 5 p.m., a permit will be left for you in a small wooden box on the back side of the information board outside the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
- Campsites may be reserved up to three months in advance. To obtain a reservation, call 415.663.8054 between 9 am and 2 pm, Monday - Friday. Reservations by phone are not accepted at any other time. You may make reservations in person 7 days a week at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. You may also fax your reservation using our fax form and fax number: 415.464.5149.
- Wood fires are prohibited in hike-in campgrounds. Only gas stoves, charcoal or canned heat may be used for cooking. Downed wood may not be gathered and burned.
- Camping is limited to 4 nights per visit, with a maximum of 30 nights per year. The minimum age of any camper is 18 unless accompanied by an adult.
- Pets are not permitted in campgrounds. The maximum number of horses or pack animals in any campground is eight. Pack animals and horses must be tied to hitch rails.
Stewart Horse Camp
- The Stewart Horse Camp is located 4.25 miles from the Bear Valley Trailhead, or .15 miles from the Five Brooks Trailhead. It is a privately operated facility.
- Call 415.663.1570 for reservations (9 am - 5 pm, PST).
Wildcat Camp - Campground Information
- Wildcat Camp is located in a coastal meadow between bluffs and the ocean It's located 5.65 miles from the Palomarin Trailhead, 7.8 miles from the Bear Valley Trailhead, and 6.7 miles from Five Brooks Trailhead.
- There are 5 individual sites and 3 group sites; three of the individual sites only hold up to four people. Each individual site has a picnic table, food storage locker and charcoal grill. Group sites have two picnic tables, two food storage lockers and one large or two regular charcoal grills.
Glen Camp - Campground Information
- Glen Camp is tucked in a quiet wooded valley, 4.6 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center via the Bear Valley Trail and Glen Trail. To access via bicycle, start at the Five Brooks Trailhead and follow the Stewart Trail to the Glen Trail, then north to the Glen Camp Loop. This is 6.3 mile bike ride. No groups, horses, or pack animals are allowed at Glen Camp. There are 12 individual sites at Glen Camp.
Sky Camp - Campground Information
- Sky Camp is located on the west side of Mt. Wittenberg in open rolling meadows, 1.4 miles from the Sky Trailhead on Limantour Road. The site is located at 1,025'. On clear days it provides sweeping panoramas across Drakes Bay. Sky Camp has 11 individual sites and 1 group site.
Coast Camp - Campground Information
- Coast Camp is located in a small coastal valley with easy access to Santa Maria Beach. The shortest route begins from the Laguna Trailhead, and travels 1.8 miles on the Laguna and Firelane Trails. It's also accessible from the Coast Trailhead for a longer but easier 2.7 mile route that's also open to bikes.
- Coast Camp is located approximately 9.5 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center via the Bear Valley and Coast Trails. 12 individual sites and two group sites are available. Sites 1-7 are in a semi-protected canyon.
Directions to Trailhead
The Laguna Trailhead is located 7.1 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. From the Visitor Center, travel 1.3 miles NW on Bear Valley Road to Limantour Road and turn left. Travel south 6.3 miles on Limantour Road and turn left on the Point Reyes Youth Hostel - Clem Miller Environmental Education Center Road. The Laguna Trailhead is located .5 miles from this turn on your right.
Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Rd.
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Visitor Information: 415.464.5100 x2 or 415.663.8522 x2
Headquarters: 415.464.5100 x 1
Volunteer Information: 415.464.5145