Bull Point, Point Reyes: Bull Point Trailhead, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California
Bull Point - 3.8 miles
Point Reyes: Bull Point Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||3.8 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||44' - 22' (105' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-22' net elevation loss (+195' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Bull Point - 3.8 Miles Round-Trip
Bull Point provides exceptional views across the inner and outer portions of Drakes Estero. On clear days you can see the mouths of Schooner Bay and Home Bay, Drakes Head, Sunset Beach and Limantour Spit from Bull Point.
Estero - Spanish for Estuary - is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with fresh water influx and a free connection to the open sea. Contributions from each make estuaries one of the most biologically rich and diverse ecosystems on earth. Drakes Estero encompasses approximately 2000 acres: seagrass beds and tidal mud flats are predominant sub-habitats in the estuary proper, with salt marshes and rocky intertidal zones on the periphery.
The Bull Point trail passes through pastoral lands of F Ranch. Respect private land boundaries and exercise patience and common sense if you encounter free range cattle:
Before heading out, look east across the pasture and indentify a cattle gate several hundred yards away. The trail runs down then up to this gate (.3 miles : 35'), then bears right along the bluffs over Creamery Bay. Ignore any path that continues east beyond this gate.
The designated trail, portions of which are double-track, bends south and rises along Creamery Bay with expanding views (.6 miles). Look for birds and seals on the mud flats at low tide.
The trail edges away from the bay toward the center of Bull Point and the route's highest point (1.1 miles : 105'). The trail - now grassed-over double track - comes to a fork in 1.35 miles; here the double track veers left, and cattle trail veers right. Keep left on the double track for the most direct path to Bull Point.
The trail continues south and downhill through broad pastures to Bull Point (1.9 miles : 22'). A social trail from the SE corner of Bull Point leads down to a thin, rocky sliver that wraps around the headland where you can explore the intertidal zone of Drakes Estero.
Though tide pools are scarce you'll still find many representative creatures such as anemones, sea stars and oysters scattered about. It's not uncommon to see beachcombing fox and coyote in this area looking for an easy meal.
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N38 04.870 W122 57.615 — 0.0 miles : Bull Point Trailhead
- N38 04.872 W122 57.342 — .3 miles : Bear right through gate; follow inlet
- N38 04.667 W122 57.210 — .6 miles : Trail parallels Creamery Bay
- N38 04.081 W122 56.971 — 1.35 miles : Fork - bear left to remain on double track
- N38 03.678 W122 56.678 — 1.9 miles : Bull Point
- The mudflats and eelgrass beds of Drakes Estero udflats serve as foraging and breeding grounds for many birds, fish, and pinnipeds. The US Shorebird Conservation Plan recognizes Drakes Estero as one of the most crucial areas for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl in California.
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.
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 Bull Point Trailhead is located 12.75 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
From the Bear Valley Visitor Center, travel 7.8 miles north on Bear Valley Road to Pierce Point Road. Bear left to continue on Bear Valley Road (aka Drake Highway). The Bull Point Trailhead is located 4.95 miles south of this junction on the left (east) side of the road.
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
Education Programs: 415.464.5139
Special Use Permits: 415.464.5111