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A small group of hikers has been emailing off and on about doing a series of long (mileage and ascent) and fast hikes. We were thinking of doing Skyline to the Sea, but that requires a certain amount of logistics, which didn't happen. Anyway, I hooked up with Jim K. and Jeff C. for a hike somewhere in Marin. We picked up Jim and he put together a fine loop - Pt Reyes Youth Hostel to wildcat Camp. Map(s) of perambulations below.
The weather forecasts were pretty steady on sunny, cool and breezy, despite the rain Friday night. A 20-30 mile hike was agreed on, route and location to be determined when we met.
The outbound route generally followed ridges and the Sky Trail before dropping down to Wildcat Camp, where we ate lunch. Inbound, we followed the Coastal Trail back to the Hostel.
We started out at about 8:25 and finished at 4:15. From the Hostel, Laguna Rd to the Laguna Trail, up to a saddle where we turned onto the Fire Lane Trail for the climb to the ridge and along to the Sky Trail. We contoured along, below Mt Wittenberg and then dropped down to Divide Meadow on the Old Pine Trail. We climbed off the Bear Valley Trail on the Glen Trail, across to the Wildcat Camp Rd and down to Wildcat Camp.
Our only redo was the steep climb back up the road to the Coastal Trail. Once we reached the crest, and near Miller's Point we were treated to spectacular panoramic views of the Point Reyes area. After a steep drop down to Arch Rock, the Coastal Trail flattened out, only dipping into small valleys and ravines. After discussing our speed, we did the 3.0 miles from the Sky Trail junction to the Woodward Trail in 44 minutes. A little further on was Coast Camp, and the gravel road back to the Hostel.
23.5 miles, a minimum of 3300 feet of ascent. 7:50 start to finish, probably about 7 hours of hiking time. For me, it was a pleasure to hike with such strong hikers, and also to have a Great Leader, so I could enjoy the hike without being concerned over the route or trails.
The weather was sunny, cool and breezy, just as predicted. Temperatures were pleasant for this vigorous hike. Trails were generally in good condition, with a few muddy/slippery spots. The earliest wildflowers are starting, including a few iris. Lots of deer wandering around, but no predators.
Map of hike location and route detail maps, route in fuschia and orange
Pt Reyes Loop / Robert Parks / email@example.com / revised Feb