Pt Reyes: Limantour Beach

Saturday, April 16, 2016

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This scenic route takes you around Central Marin from Nicasio to Pt Reyes National Seashore for a beautiful ride out to Limantour Beach. Enjoy the white sandy beach and gorgeous coastal landscape! *Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California, USA. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve.

Begin this ride from Nicasio Square in Nicasio.

Head south on Nicasio Valley Rd through a horse ranching community with open training arenas, paddocks and stables.

The flat rolling terrain goes underneath the dense woodland and before leading back out to the valley ranches.

The short climb up to the summit at Dixon Ridge is 0.4 mile with an average grade of 8%.

The descent on Nicasio Valley Rd drops down under the shade of the woodlands surrounding Roy’s Redwoods to the golfing greens at San Geronimo.

Turn right and head west on Sir Francis Drake Blvd; the flat terrain rolls by the small communities of San Geronimo, Forest Knolls and Lagunitas.

The road continues on fabulous smooth pavement though the gorgeous towering redwoods towards Camp Taylor at SP Taylor State Park.

The beautiful gentle rolling miles continues under the shaded woodlands before emerging out from towards the open grasslands and ranches near Platform Bridge Rd.

Go straight  for the climb up Olema Hill; it’s 0.8 mile with an average grade of 7.4% to the summit at Bolinas Ridge.

The road quickly descends through the Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area onto CA-1 N to Olema with fantastic views of the dense forests and open ridge top!

A short jog on CA-1 N leads to Bear Valley Rd; this back road runs along the east edge of Pt Reyes National Seashore with views of the low marshlands and wooded greens for the next 1.8 miles to the Limantour Beach turnoff.

Turn left onto Limantour Rd; the road runs SW for 8.6 miles to Limantour Beach at Drakes Bay with the first flat mile leading up to the park gate.

The road tilts up to a steady climb with 5-8% grades and steep pitches of 9-10%; it winds up through the woodland up to the wide turnout area with views of Tomales Bay.

Limantour Rd levels out for a short section before dropping down towards the creek followed by a 5-7% climb up to Sky Trailhead.

The road continues to climb with steep 12-14% grades up to Inverness Ridge.

Limantour Rd winds around the ridge to the Bayview Trailhead.

The tree-lined road rolls along Inverness Ridge with gorgeous views of the surrounding forests and Drakes Bay!

What comes next is a fast roller coaster of a hill; the 17% drop is immediately met with a short steep 16% wall-get your low gears ready!

The road continues with gentle rolling climbs along the ridge opens up to views of Drakes Bay and its surrounding coastal landscape.

Limantour Rd drops down towards the parking lot at Limantour Beach. Go straight and follow the road to its end at the gated entrance to the beach.

Cross the bridge over the wetland and marshes for the short walk over to the sandy beach.

Enjoy the gorgeous coastal beach and landscape! *A long, narrow spit of sand, bound between Drakes Bay and an estuary, is a bountiful wildlife area. Scores of shorebirds feed in the wetlands and along the beaches during the fall. Ducks abound in winter at old, freshwater stock ponds created during the peninsula’s ranching era. Harbor seals are often seen bobbing offshore in the gentle waves or basking in the sun’s warmth. Mother gray whales guide their calves along the shoreline during the spring.


Exit the beach area.

Turn right at the intersection for the extra short out & back jaunt to Limantour’s east parking lot.

Return to Limantour Rd for the steep 10-13% climb back up towards the ridge.

The rolling terrain along the ridge drops down to Limantour Spit Rd.

The road immediately kicks up to a super steep climb with grades of 14-17% as you near the summit at Inverness Ridge.

Limantour Rd rolls along the ridge followed by a fun sweeping descent into Bear Valley.

Head north on Bear Valley Rd to Sir Francis Drake Blvd and take CA-1 N to Pt Reyes Station.

The short climb up CA-1 N leads you out of town to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd. Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd winds along the north edge of Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area and the south base of Black Mountain. The terrain is mostly flat with one short pitch up to Black Mountain Ranch.

At the colored bridge, continue NE on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd to the Spillway climb; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 5%.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd levels out at Nicasio Dam. The road goes around the reservoir with great views of the blue waters and rolling hills.

The flat terrain on Nicasio Valley Rd continues around the reservoir to Nicasio.

This is a spectacular ride out to Limantour Beach along a remote less-traveled road at Pt Reyes National Seashore. You’ll enjoy the quiet climbs up to Inverness Ridge, the stunning views of Drakes Bay and the beautiful white sandy beach!


Garmin Stats:
44.07 Miles with 3543′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 640′
Max grade: 17%
Terrain: Hilly with steep climbs

Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 80’s with mild NE > NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Limantour Beach

Follow this route for today’s ride: