Walking through the forest in the fog is so amazing!! The feeling of hugs from the trees and quiet serenity of the enclosing fog wrapping around you like a cozy blanket is an wonderfully relaxing feeling. Looking for a short hike in the forest with some views of the ocean were on our mini Sunday bucket list so we headed out to Point Reyes National Seashore to hike up Mt Wittenberg on the Sky trail.
We followed the instructions to park in the small gravel parking lot off of Limantour Road where Sky trail meets the main road and headed past the small gate up into the quiet forest above. The fog was dense. The parking lot was full. No one was on the trail. It felt like we were the only ones on the mountain not being able to see the sky or very far in the distance. The green of the plants were so vibrant in the fog. The humidity in the air was so full it was practically drizzle. Love this weather!
Hiking along Sky Trail we were able to take our time enjoying all of the closer sights like the family of quail huddling under a fallen tree. With the fog so dense it made you focus on the plants you were walking by instead of the potential peek a boo views of the ocean in the distance. Wrapping around on Horse Trail to Z Ranch Trail we reached the open meadow where several young pine trees were growing so healthy it showed the hope this mountain would forever be lush.
Opting not to hike to the summit from the junction with Z Ranch since there wouldn’t be any views we conserved our energy so we could head down to Limantour Beach after the hike. We headed down Sky Trail and passed the Sky Campground (toilets here if you need them!). Here we ran into a few campers waking up to the fog and getting ready for their Sunday adventures.
This hike is a bit of a balloon hike where you have a loop but then also retrace your first part of the trail to reach the car. The trail didn’t change much since it was still foggy so this part was a little quicker hike than when we were starting off and looking at all the plant life. Pops of orange, a sea of green and tall trees surround you for most of this part of the hike. Once back in the parking lot we hopped in the car and headed further along Limantour Road to Limantour Beach.
The last time we did this drive we were lucky enough to see some Thule Elk but I think we were too late in the morning to see them grazing. We were however early enough to get a good parking spot in the larger parking lot at Limantour Beach. Eager to relax on the beach we grabbed our gear and headed down the short path to the sand dunes. We love seeing the marsh and Limantour Spit. The low growing bushes are in bloom right now and the grasses just before the sand dunes provided a nice contrast between land and see.
Anticipation always grows when we reach the fine sand and climb up the dune to see the ocean. Seriously one of the best feelings! There were quite a few people at the beach even though it was fogged in. We started to head north where there were less people and I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw something swimming in the low waves…we watched and watched. It was a dolphin. Seeing a whale up close will just have to be another day!
Part of Limantour beach is blocked off for the baby snowy plovers to get stronger so they can play with all the visitors. Please heed these sings. The hubs and I enjoyed a nice time on the foggy beach enjoying the gentle slap of waves rolling in with the tide. Then we headed back and drove back to reality. I always FEEL SO GOOD when we are out at Point Reyes no matter where we are or what we are doing. Something very calming about this place. Limantour Beach is one of my top 5 favorite beaches in the area…do you have a favorite North Bay beach?
Free gravel parking off Limantour Road, no facilities here, just under 5 miles, elevation gain loss approx 800 feet, lots of summer traffic, good any time of year due to the shade the forest would provide on a clear day. Check out Point Reyes Station for some delicious eats!
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