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Point Reyes worth a visit this very rainy week?

Point Reyes worth a visit this very rainy week?

Old Mar 5th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Point Reyes worth a visit this very rainy week?

My son and I arrived in San Francisco yesterday afternoon - we're visiting another son, who recently moved here. We only have until next Saturday - and it's supposed to rain almost every day this week. The son who lives here plans to take a day off from work mid-week to do some sort of day trip with us, and the Point Reyes National Seashore looks pretty spectacular, and is certainly closer than driving down to Big Sur. It would also be fun to try to see some migrating whales. However, it's predicted to rain every day this week there, so I'm wondering if it's worth using our one day with him to go there if it's raining - is it likely to be foggy, too, in the rain? It seems it might be pointless to go if the views are obliterated.

If we do go, what would be the best use of our time? I've looked at the NPS web site, and it's a big place with a lot of territory to cover. Which beach is the most scenic, and best for walking on? It lists a bunch of hiking trails, what would be a good one for a moderate hike, less than two hours with lovely coastal views? Any thing we absoloutely shouldn't miss? Thanks for any advice!

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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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The coast on a stormy day can be spectacular. Fog isn't usually an issue - that is more of a summer thing when it is hot inland. During storms, we usually have high clouds mixed with sun.

I don't know if it is worth going during a storm or not. It depends on the storm and whether or not you like wandering around in inclement weather. I'd go - without hesitation, unless of course the storm was a particularly strong one with high winds. If it was just off and on rain with light wind, I'd toss a rain jacket in the car and head out. I love to watch storms come in off the coast. You can also stop at Muir woods for a hike - it is basically on the way. Redwood forests in a light rain are magical, and you will likely be the only ones there.

So I'd probably make it a game day decision. If the storm is forecast to be really bad, then choose something else. But if the storm is forecast to be light, then I'd go.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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From my brother who lives in Pt. Reyes:

The weather for the coming week after today (Sunday) is scheduled to be on and off rain so you might get lucky and get some sun. Wednesday's forecast looks OK.

Here is what I would do with a 1/2 - 3/4 day whirlwind at Pt Reyes this week:

1) Stop at the visitor's center at Bear Valley and get a map and then do a quick walk on the earthquake trail.

2) If you have time drive out to Chimney Rock (1/2 hour each way from Bear Valley) to the elephant seal overlook. Spend some time there and take a short hike out on the Chimney Rock trail. Good chance to see wildflowers and whales from Chimney Rock.

3) If you still have time check out the lighthouse which is close to Chimney Rock (open 10 - 4:30 Thur - Mon). When the lighthouse is closed you still have access to an area above the lighthouse where you have an excellent chance to see a whale (bring field glasses).

4) Catch a snack at the Drakes Beach Cafe and make sure to walk down to the beach. This is the beach where Sir Francis Drake probably landed in 1579. The Pinecone Cafe in Point Reyes Station is also a good choice.


From me:

I also like Muir Woods & Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). At GGNRA, there is an historic battery (Randolph Battery I think). Also a lighthouse at Bonita Pt. This is just across Golden Gate Bridge.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:55 PM
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I suggest Muir Woods and Rodeo Beach, which is much closer than Point Reyes. If the weather becomes impossible, you can always retreat to Sausalito or back to San Francisco.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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The drive out to the lighthouse is spectacular on a stormy day. If you like oysters, drive out to Johnson's or stop in town at Hog Island. M-m-m-m--must be going now.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Seconding the suggestions for the lighthouse at Point Reyes - easily the most incredible views around. You just might catch some clearing weather on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Even I, a 40-year resident of the area, was amazed at how close the Farallon Islands look from the lighthouse. Be prepared for the long walk down and back up the stairs going to the actual lighthouse. There are benches midway up where you can catch your breath.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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Thanks everyone, that's very helpful information. It sounds like it may be worthwhile going even if it is raining, so I'll see if my sons would like to do that. It does sound like we may get slightly better weather on Wednesday, so maybe we'll try for that. Muir Woods is a great place to go, too, but I've been there before, so I thought it would be nice to see something new. We may go there another day while my older son is at work, since he's already been there.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Pt. Reyes is spectacular in any weather ! A drive out to the Lighthouse would be my first pick, yet all Lighthouse facilities-visitor center,
Lens room, the stairs down to the Lens(all 308 of them) are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Chimney Rock
might fill the bill.

If it's even marginally decent, drive out to Limantour Beach for a stroll
we have seen whales many many times
in Drakes Bay !

I would skip Drakes beach for a snack and save your tastebuds for the Pinecone Diner or Station House Cafe in the town of Pt. Reyes Station.

BTW, Johnsons Oyster Co is no longer
Johnsons and has a new owner. It is now Drakes Bay Oyster Co. When their lease expires with the NPS in 2012, there will be no more oyster farming within the park.

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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Thanks so much to everyone who gave me great information and advice. I thought I'd let youknow what we ended up doing - sorry this is a week later! We drove up on Wednesday of last week - the weather was predicted to be pretty good, so my older son took the day off from work so we could go to Point Reyes. We got a lot later start than I would have preferred - but my younger son, who's on his college break, slept late, and I decided at the beginning of our trip to let him dictate the schedule, so he'd be happy - I figure that now that my older son lives in SF I'll probably get there for a visit occasionally, so will have other opportunities to do a lot of the sightseeing I'm itching to do. Better to keep the peace and let my younger son feel we're doing what he wants this trip than fulfill my own sightseeing desires - easier to do when I know I'll be back again!
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