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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

Rip & Go: Glen Camp Loop - Point Reyes National Seashore

Hike across forested hills to gape at ocean vistas just one hour north of San Francisco.

by: Joanna Nasar

The view from Arch Rock. (Scott Mansfield)
The view from Arch Rock. (Scott Mansfield)

Take it With You
Download a printable PDF of this entire weekend.

GPS-Enabled Trip Report
See this trip on a map, download it to your phone, GPS, or computer, and more.
Trip Planner

Permit Make campsite reservations (up to three months in advance) for weekends, holidays, and spring break ($15/group). (415) 663-8054
Driving From San Francisco, take US 101 north seven miles to CA 1. Stay on CA 1, heading north, for 26.1 miles, then turn left on Bear Valley Rd. Go .5 mile, then turn left on the road to Bear Valley Visitor Center. Park at the far end of the lot.
Gear Up Pick up batteries, duct tape, and stove fuel at Building Supply Center, 11280 CA 1, Point Reyes Station, CA; (415) 663-1737


Key Skill
Navigate Through Fog

With its well-established trails, routefinding here would seem a cinch. But with nearly 200 days of fog per year, Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the haziest places on Earth. Warm air from the Pacific bumps into cooler inland air and produces enough fog to reduce visibility to a few hundred feet in a matter of seconds. Use these tips to get through the mist.

1) Do periodic checks Verify your map position immediately when fog moves in and every half hour after.
2) Navigate object to object If the fog is too dense to find your way, take a compass bearing from your current location to your intended destination. Then, note any obvious landmark in your line of travel, and move without deviating until you reach it. When you get there, take another sighting, pick a new landmark, and repeat.
3) Play leapfrog In featureless terrain, like a large open meadow, use hiking partners as intermediate objects. Send them forward as far as possible and wave them into position along your course. Then leapfrog ahead. Give them the compass as you pass so they can repeat the leapfrog.

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