Estero Loop, Point Reyes

Notes by piero scaruffi | Back to the Pt Reyes page
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Start from Limantour Beach. Follow the Estero trail all the way to Sunset Beach (12kms). Retrace your steps from Sunset Beach to Estero trail until the junction with White Gate (4 kms). Turn left on White Gate to Hollow Rd to the parking lot (5 kms). Walk down the paved road to the Limantour parking lot (2 kms). Total: 23 kms.

The best way to experience the Estero is probably to hike one-way from the Estero trailhead to Limantour Beach or to Muddy Hollow Rd, but this requires leaving a car at the Muddy Hollow trailhead and starting the hike from the Estero trailhead. To get to the Estero trailhead drive through Inverness and follow the signs for the lighthouse. The trailhead is on the left handside past the junction with Pierce Rd. Park there an follow the trail for 4kms (about one hour). There are many picture spots along this stretch. At the first junction, turn left. Here you are likely to lose the trail. There is a road between two lines of barbed wire. You should stay on the road. After a concrete water tank (that will be on the right handside) the trail start descending. It then proceeds north and east. At this point it is relatively well marked. If you did not miss it, you will reach the junction with the Glenbrook trail (about two hours from the beginning). Here you can go right (and do the longer route) or left (White Gate, the shorter route). If you turn left you are hiking on the White Gate trail that takes you to Muddy Hollow Rd (not muddy at all) which takes you to the Muddy Hollow trailhead (plenty of parking). The whole trail is 11km according to the official map, but probably 12/13 km. It took me 3.5 hours at a brisk pace. If you turn right, you make it 3km longer and it will take you at least two hours to get to Limantour Beach.

Pictures of this hike.

One can then continue to Sculptured Beach and get the best of both worlds.

  • Estero trailhead
  • Junction with the Sunset Beach trail 4km/ 1hr
  • Sunset Beach 6km
  • Back to the junction 8km/ 2hr
  • Junction with Drakes trail 9km/ 3hr
  • Junction with the Glenbrook trail 11km/3.5hr
  • Limantour parking lot 16km/4hr