I love Point Reyes: the flowers, the birds, and the amazing topography are just a few reasons to drive an hour up the coast from San Francisco. The spring is one of the best times to visit, since the flowers are at their peak and the weather is fine -- past the rainy season, but before the heavy summer fogs come to stay.
I took a loop hike out to Arch Rock. Although you can reach Arch Rock along the short and relatively flat Bear Valley Trail, I opted for a longer and more scenic loop up Mt. Wittenberg and down to the coast via Woodward Valley apx. 14 miles including side trails).
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Point Reyes booms with wildflowers during the spring. Here's a look from underneath Henderson's Angelica, which grows in coastal bluffs and dunes.
Tip of Point Reyes, seen from Mt. Wittenberg.
1995 Point Reyes Fire
The 1995 Point Reyes fire burned extensive areas, but the forest is regenerating.
In the lusher areas, such as Woodward Valley, burned areas are quickly reclaimed.
Point Reyes Coast
You emerge from Woodward Valley to vistas up and down the rugged Point Reyes coast. Some of the cliffs are quite high here, and continually falling into the ocean.
Coast Covered With Wildflowers
The coastal bluffs were covered with wildflowers of every color.
The lupines were enormous, with many growing to eye level.
Coast Creek empties into the Pacific through the arch.
Point Reyes Coast
Looking north along the coast from atop Arch Rock.
Coast Creek was flowing briskly in early May.
Upstream, beyond the shadow of the small canyon, Coast Creek is alive with flowers and grasses.
Arch Rock Falls
The small waterfall at the base of Arch Rock.
After the falls, the creek cuts through the sandbank under Arch Rock and meets the Pacific.
The Bear Valley trail follows the creek and is very lush.