Five Brooks to Sculptured Beach to Sky Camp, Point Reyes

Notes by piero scaruffi | Back to the Pt Reyes page
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This hike makes sense only on a day of low tide and possibly in winter when chances of fog are minimal. Any other season you are likely to see nothing because of the fog. If the tide is not low you will wonder what is special about this beach and never go back again. So i strongly recommend you pick a day of low tide (below zero) in winter.

This is a one way hike that requires a car parked at the Sky trailhead n Limantour Rd. Start from Five Brooks trailhead that is on highway 1 between Bolinas and Olema. Both trailheads are well-marked if you pay attention.

The Five Brooks parking lot is fairly large. Starts walking on the Stewart Trail which is really a road. Ignore the confusing sign five minutes into the hike and continue on this road until you find another confusing sign: to the left is the Olema Valley trail, to the right the sign points to the Greenpicker Trail (and Glen Camp and Wildcat Camp). Turn right and in about one km you will reach the Greenpicker trail, which eventually summits at Fir Top. Turn right into the Stewart Trail (again, it's a big road) and then right again into the Greenpicker trail again, taking the left branch of it (the one that heads west). Then turn right into the Glen Camp Loop, then cross the Bear Valley trail to continue on the very steep Baldy trail. Just after the summit take a left turn on Sky trail down to the Coast trail. Turn right. When you have a clear view down below of a finger-like rock formation, pay attention to your left. The turnout to Sculptured Beach is not well marked but it is the first trail on your left. If you get to the fork for Woodward Valley, just retraced your steps 30 minutes. Go down to Sculptured Beach, turn left and hop up and down the various rock formations. It's an amusement park. At the end of the beach, just past the finger, go through the keyhole. Make sure you have enough time to walk back before the tide rises. On the other side of the keyhole there is an open cave that i call the "Pantheon". Continue up the beach to two tiny waterfalls. You can keep walking to Kehoe Beach and explore more caves.

On a day of low tide, lazy hikers can also reach Sculptured Beach by simply walking from the Limantour parking lot south along the beach.

When you're done with Sculptured Beach, retrace your steps back to the Coast Trail and turn left (north). Turn right into the Woodward Valley trail. On a sunny day you have the best views of the area. Then turn left on the Sky trail to the end at Limantour Rd via Sky Camp.

  • Five brooks trailhead
  • Junction with Greenpicker trail: 1.5km
  • Fir Top: 1h15'
  • Junction with Glen Camp Loop: 6km (1h 45')
  • Junction with Bear Valley Rd and beginning of Baldy trail: 2.5km (2h 30')
  • Junction with Sky trail: 2km (3h)
  • Junction with Coastal trail: 2km (3h30')
  • Sculptured Beach: 4km (4h30')
  • Exploring Sculptured Beach: 2km (5h30')
  • Back to Coastal trail:
  • Junction with Woodward Valley trail: 1km (6h)
  • Junction with Sky trail: 3km (7h)
  • Limantour Rd: 4km (8h)
Total: 28km