Hike Point Reyes' Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock Trail

Distance

1.8 Miles

Elevation Gain

250 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Tyler Drake

Bathrooms
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Chimney Rock is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. This hike is great for taking a ton of wildflower shots. Duration: 1-2 hours.

Chimney Rock is a 1.8 mile out-and-back, single-track trail. The trailhead gets crowded (even on weekdays) with amateur and professional photographers, as well as nature lovers clutching field guides. Hikers seeking a quiet nature experience may wish to look elsewhere. The display is impressive, though. Carpets of flowers such as goldenfields, blue-eyed grass, and mule ear sunflowers, are dramatic against a backdrop of cliffs receding sharply to the ocean. There are two short official trails, one which drops down from the trailhead to the historic lifeboat station, and a second which runs out to a bluff overlooking the ocean. From the overlook near the trailhead, elephant seals can sometimes be glimpsed during winter, their mating season. In spring, bring binoculars to spy on migrating whales.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $75/night

Enchanted Forest Cosmo Site

Occidental, California

From $120/night

Mystic Mountain Petrified Camp

Santa Rosa, California

From $120/night

Peace and Plenty Farm

Kelseyville, California

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Views, Baby Elephant Seals!

I visited Chimney Rock in mid-April. The wildflowers weren't as impressive as I found at Tomales Point, but there were plenty to see. There have been cliff fissures at Chimney Rock so there are signs everywhere warning hikers to stay on the main trail. On the hike back to my car I noticed elephant seals on the beach at the Lifeboat Station. I detoured down that trail and found a pile of baby elephant seals playing and basking in the sunshine. A fence separates you from the beach, and signs warn to give the seals space. There is also a short hike from the same trailhead as Chimney Rock that leads to a large beach full of elephant seals in the spring months. The view isn't as close as the seals at Lifeboat Station, but there are many more of them.

There are 2 benches at the end of the trail where you can take in the view. Bring your lunch or a snack with you and take it all in.

Bring a jacket. Always seems to be windy along this stretch of coast.

Distance

1.8 Miles

Elevation Gain

250 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Tyler Drake

You'll love who you are when you are in Marin!

Marin County is just a little out there. As in one famous bridge away from San Francisco. And right next door to the vineyards and Napa and Sonoma. Closer than you could ever imagine to everything that's unique in this clever corner of California. Take a vacation from the typical vacation

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike to Elephant Seal Overlook

Adventure

Watch the Sunset at Point Reyes Lighthouse

Adventure

Beach Bonfire at Drake's Beach, Pt. Reyes

Adventure

Walk along Limantour Beach

More Nearby Adventures

Related Stories

how-to

Experience Van Life Without Cashing In Your 401k!

Hit the road and sleep in comfort on your next adventure without breaking the bank!

travel

10 Reasons Why Guides Make Adventures Better

Let the experts lead the way.

skiing

An Introduction To Ski Touring

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the backcountry and untracked powder.

More Stories