Point Reyes 4 day with Golite Ion pack
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Dave T
(DaveT) - F
. on 11/19/2007 11:53:19 MST Print View


Edited by DaveT on 12/12/2010 19:22:39 MST.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Point Reyes 4 day with Golite Ion pack on 11/19/2007 12:31:03 MST Print View

What is your planned route? Point Reyes is pretty small so it's hard to imagine doing 4 'long' days out there.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
route ideas on 11/19/2007 12:47:53 MST Print View

yes, it's not too big, but i'm going to try to do it all, or as much as possible. check Point Reyes Map

(route deleted)

i'm just going to bring the tom harrison map, and i'll have plenty of options once i'm out there.

there should be lots of folks driving around (and hiking) on the long holiday, so a couple of short hitches should be easy.

Edited by DaveT on 11/21/2007 08:11:45 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
water at PRNS on 11/19/2007 12:52:59 MST Print View

i found some water info at PRNS. Piped water available at:

Sky, Glen, Wildcat, Coast camps
Limantour Beach
Drakes Beach
Point Reyes Lighthouse
South Beach
North Beach
Five Brooks TH
Bear Valley Visitors Center

Edited by DaveT on 12/12/2007 22:39:39 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Point Reyes 4 day with Golite Ion pack on 11/19/2007 13:06:49 MST Print View

I have one of the DWR MLD bivies- it's not designed to be waterproof in a downpour and should be used with a tarp in heavy rain conditions. I'd highly recommend carrying a tarp with it.

Also, what about raingear? I don't see that. I know the forecast is no rain, but if it goes south on you and a storm rolls in, you'll be unprepared to deal with it.

Maybe a poncho tarp is the perfect addition to your list!

Looks good though- have a great trip!


Edited by djohnson on 11/19/2007 13:07:59 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
raingear. on 11/19/2007 13:22:56 MST Print View


Yes, a poncho/tarp would be a great addition. In fact, I ordered one a couple weeks ago from MLD (the silpro). But I don't think I'll see it for a couple months! Fingers crossed. :)

The forecast now is for clear and sunny skies and 65/45 or so. I think the worst precip will be possible fog, though it's not the time of thick summer fog any more. I'm going to talk with the park about conditions to be sure - I tend to the better safe than sorry approach, but this looks like a good stable sunny fall time to go for it. Also, it's easy to bail to visitor centers / roads in not much time if things start looking funky.

And by the way, I always appreciate your posts... great content and great attitude. Thanks!

Dave T.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Point Reyes 4 day with Golite Ion pack on 11/19/2007 13:32:36 MST Print View


I assumed your four day trip would be to/from the usual campsites (coast, wildcat, glen, and sky). Your itinerary is impressive.

Regarding your gear, I wouldn't worry about rain or raingear since you can always bail out rather quickly.

Regarding non-cooking, I find that to work fine when I'm in the wilderness but it really sucks when your eating your cold food next to people who have brought the 'kitchen sink'. This may be the case if you stay at the above mentioned camps.

If your interested, my wife and I have done some good trips in the area:

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: raingear. on 11/19/2007 13:36:53 MST Print View

Hi Dave,

Sounds reasonable. I've done the same, actually- pushed a breathable/water-resistant bivy into conditions when rain was very unlikely. I figured that I could put it silnylon side up if things went wrong.

Still, I'd do a rain jacket. But maybe it's just my hypothermia pacific northwest fears coming through. :-)


Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: route ideas on 11/19/2007 13:41:13 MST Print View

I also question your 'long distance' plan. One rather 'longish' route, from Palomarin through the four allowable campsites (Wildcat, Coast, Sky and Glen), is 32.5 miles. You may not camp anywhere else in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Also, there is little or no water available in the areas north and west of the Limantour Road, the ponds inland from Abbott's Lagoon notwithstanding.

Edited by redleader on 11/19/2007 13:43:45 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
trip on 11/19/2007 13:41:42 MST Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/21/2007 08:09:16 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: trip on 11/19/2007 18:02:10 MST Print View

Hey Dave,
When are you going?
If you want some company for a day or two, I am looking for something to do over the next week.
Also, (doesn't matter) but how far are you planning on going each day?

One important factor in planning the route is that when you look at the Map; only the areas shaded in green have forest. The rest is completely barren and down right ugly.
The difference is huge and the scenery in the trees is excellent. I would try to stay in the forested area as much as possible.

For camping, you can not camp with out a permit and have to camp at one of the camp grounds.

Although it seems like every trip I take there I am never at the station on time so we have to bail out early in the morning so we don't get hit with a BIG fine...
They patrol by horseback out there about 3-5 days a week, but this time of the year there is nobody out there except just days on the weekends.
If I were you, I would take the longest routes covering the most trails possible between campgrounds and just stay at a different campground each night.
As far as scenery and a good trip go, you could do a lot better with your route selection.
I wouldn't even bother with any of the Drakes Bay area other than to go by car before you start to check it out.

The best campground is Sky camp.

Coast camp is an easy 2nd.

Glen is in a pretty area, but the sites are too open.
This wouldn't be bad at all having it to you self though.

Wildcat is nestled in a bunch of dried up tall weeds. It is unique and the view over the cliff is cool, (can't see it from the campsites though). Still easily comes in last place.

There are a few creeks out there, (need to be treated).
About 90% of the creeks shown on the map will have running water. A lot of the trails just don't intersect with them.
The campsites are close enough to do 2-3 Litters of water in between if you did something like a figure 8 with the campgrounds on the trails it would work out the best.

Edited by awsorensen on 11/19/2007 19:45:31 MST.

William Webber
(micwebbpl) - F
It can get kind of cold out there.... on 11/21/2007 11:41:26 MST Print View

Have you hiked Pt Reyes before? It can get kind of cold out there. But like everyone said, you are never too far from your car and can always bail. Watch out for poison oak.

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
4 Days, in Point Reyes (Rhyme, if you have time) on 11/21/2007 12:58:24 MST Print View

Hey Dave,

Aaron has good comments except I can't believe he ranks Wildcat Camp 4 out of 4. I think its number 1 based on the photos (move your cursor over the pictures for captions) below. Geez, I need to get back out there!

Dinner on the Bluff at Wildcat

Alamere Falls, an easy beach walk south of Wildcat.

Beach walk from Alamere Falls to Wildcat Camp.

Cliffs north of Wildcat Camp.

Edited by clbowden on 11/21/2007 12:59:48 MST.

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
nice loop on 11/22/2007 00:19:57 MST Print View

its true that you'll be hard pressed to do 4 long days. and being as light as your are going, you will be able to do some big days.

you could do a loop from palomarin along the coast trail then come back along the ridge. i think someone said it above-- thats a bit more than 30 miles. you could go out on a yo-yo on the estero trail and back or go all the way down by bolinas on the other end on the ridge trail to tack on some more miles.

i just finished my first trip with the ion. loved it. i just traded my caribou for the highlite and used that along with the GG sleep pieces you are using as well. worked perfectly.

in terms of camping in PR, i've been stealth camping there for years. i know its illegal, but the campgrounds are always so full and for me, take away from the backcountry experience there. i set up at dusk and break down and head out at first light. its probably controversial, but by using no trace ethics, there is basically no damage to the park; the only thing is you risk a citation. but you think a ranger will believe you are doing an overnighter with only the ion on your back? tell them your day hiking. they are so conditioned to weekend warriors carrying huge expedition packs for one night they wont second guess you. that works for the steep fees too, but i digress...

anyway, heres i few shots. i thought i would add to the cool ones already posted... heres a shot of my buddy at a stealth camp on a late evening

PR camp

check this white fallow deer i saw. i hear the national park is planning on exterminating them b/c they are non-native. sorry quality is poor, i had to edit it to enlarge.

PR white deer

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
results. on 11/22/2007 00:33:13 MST Print View

i did 65 miles in three days, including a 27 on the last day back to the car. lots of beach, trail, and road walking.

weather was lovely during the day, a bit cold at night (weather.com said 29 degrees). slept fine in a 35 degree WM bag in a bivy, with some insulation layers. it sure gets dark early this time of year (but the moon was raging all night long!).

saw lots of raptors and other birds, harbor and elephant seals, deer and elk, and other wildlife.

everything fit well in the golite ion pack (size L), though i did have to compress my sleeping bag a bit more than i would normally like to. fun to zip around with such a light pack.

Edited by DaveT on 12/12/2007 22:53:16 MST.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
point reyes beach. on 12/12/2007 14:48:58 MST Print View

heading up the beach in the morning with golite ion

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
just did a loop on 12/12/2007 17:23:14 MST Print View

Just got back from doing 35 mile loop in PR. Dang, 60+ in 3 days? (above post) thats awesome. i could never get my hiking buddy to do those miles. he was hard pressed for the 35; but he is more on the traditional end of the backpacking continuum.

anyway, i will post some pics later. looks like this thread is still alive since you just posted that pic.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: point reyes beach. on 12/12/2007 21:46:57 MST Print View

Hey Dave,
Did you do the itinerary you were planning on doing from the beginning?
You never really said how the trip went other than how the gear was.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
pt. reyes. on 12/12/2007 22:03:41 MST Print View

hey there.

yep, i basically did the itinerary i planned. five brooks th over the ridge to bass lake, down to beach at alamere, up the coast trail to wildcat and coast camps. up the beach and around limantour and drakes esteros to sir francis drake. a six mile hitch and a six mile roadwalk to the (tourist-infested) lighthouse. down to the beach, and 10 miles up to abbott's lagoon. to the trailhead, and roadwalked back to mt. vision, over inverness ridge, to sky camp, and down meadow trail to bear valley, and down the trail to five brooks.

closest estimate based on mileages and some other measuring was about 65 miles over three days. lovely sunny days (with the farallons so clear), cold nights (with a raging full moon all night). a few too many miles on the last day getting back to the car, and a few too many road miles, but it was all in the adventure. had a great time. i love the coastal prairie and beach walking, and didn't mind the road strolling through historic cow pastureland. and the forest is nice, of course. i feel like, other than tomales point, i saw about all there was to see at point reyes.

everything fit in the pack, but i had to tie my R1 flash around my waist. the puff vest took lots of room in the pack, but i kinda needed it as i was pushing my WM bag to below freezing and the extra insulation was nice at night. it was tight in the pack, and i had to compress my bag more than i normally would feel good about, but after i ate down some of the food (i brought a bit too much, since i though i might stretch it to 4 days), it all fit fine.

i used everything i brought except my safety/repair gear and my aqua mira (just used piped water). so i was happy about that. the tom harrison prns map was overkill, and i mostly just used the point reyes PDF trail maps (north and south), but i love maps so i didn't mind bringing it and occasionally looking at it.

water was no worries. carried a bike water bottle AR-style bungeed to the front strap, and used a 2L platypus also on the long stretch from North Beach to Sky Camp. i definitely got a little thirsty here and there, but i'm used to cameling up and carrying the minimum for long stretches so it was fine. but cold piped water sure tastes great!

if i had to rate the campgrounds, i'd call it wildcat 1, coast 2, sky 3, and glen 4. what can i say - i love the ocean...

morning at the beach

Edited by DaveT on 12/12/2007 23:03:50 MST.

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
35 loop version on 12/15/2007 09:25:43 MST Print View

i did the loop with a buddy. we started at south entrance-- blanking on the name-- after getting permits at the bear valley station. had a late start friday so stayed at wildcat first night. for a shelter we used my old lightning (in fastpack mode so we each carried a little over a lbs for shelter). we dropped down at alamere falls onto the beach (after checking tide table) and had enough room to hike on beach from the falls to wildcat. there was a cool vertebrae from a whale.

pr whale bone

it did get cold and my WM highlite was on the verge of its rating. i supplemented it though with the MB ul down inner, but legs got cold.

day 2 we trekked the balance of the coast trail past coast camp. at coast camp we got onto the beach and hiked northward, cutting back onto the trail as it cut inland. there, the loop starts turning around. we stayed the night at sky camp.

you can see why its called that.

pr sky camp

last day we hiked back to palomarin -- oh yeah, thats what the trailhead is called. had a cool shot of the farallone islands. thats one of the points of the "red triangle" -- an area known as one of the highest concentrations of great whites.

pr farallones

i tried my new pair of montrail hardrocks and got a nasty blister on my heel. i almost always get a blister on my heels on first outings b/c i have heel spurs. but, i loved the wide toebox-- no blisters on my pinky toe (another prob area).

great trip overall.

pr beach shot