Hike Point Reyes' Chimney Rock

San Francisco Chimney Rock Trail

Added by

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.

Pack List

  • Athletic Shoes
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Camera
Read More

How to Get There

about 1 year ago

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.

about 1 year ago

over 2 years ago

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.

over 2 years ago

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

about 3 years ago

Added by Tyler Drake

Activities:

Photography, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

250 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Groups
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to Black Mountain and Stevens Creek Canyon

San Francisco / Monte Bello Open Space Preserve Parking Lot

This hike can be done during any season, but for the creek to be running and for more comfortable temperatures, it is best to go on a cool winter or spring day.

Brennan McDonald
19 Saves

Hike the Steep Ravine and Bootjack Trails Loop

San Francisco / Bootjack Campground

This hike is best done in the winter and spring in order for the creeks and waterfalls to be flowing. Park at the Bootjack Campground in Mount Tamalpais State Park.

Brennan McDonald
21 Saves

Hike the Arastradero Preserve Loop

San Francisco / Arastradero Preserve

Getting There: From Hwy 280, take the Page Mill Road exit and head West on Page Mill Road, away from Downtown Palo Alto (if you're taking 101, exit on Oregon Expressway).

Emily Schrick
17 Saves