Point Reyes National Seashore: Mount Wittenberg Loop

Hike to the highest point in Point Reyes National Seashore on this 6.3-mile loop that visits the wooded summit of Mount Wittenberg.
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Hike to the highest point in Point Reyes National Seashore on this 6.3-mile loop that visits the wooded summit of Mount Wittenberg.

MORE INFO: Point Reyes National Seashore, (415) 464-5100; nps.gov/pore/
-Mapped by Dave Miller

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.1

Waypoints

MWL001

Location: 38.039621, -122.79976

From the trailhead, hike south on the wide gravel trail (service road). Wildflowers are speckle the grasses on both sides of the trail, and deer are a common sight along this stretch.

MWL002

Location: 38.036524, -122.800176

Turn right at 3-way junction onto Sky Trail. The next 2 miles are mostly uphill (you'll gain about 1,100 feet of elevation). Dense fern undergrowth, California bay laurels, and pines flank the packed dirt trail (with occasional rocky patches). In spring, look for patches of Douglas lilies. Various songbirds serenade hikers from the trees.

MWL003

Location: 38.037443, -122.823554

This open meadow provides the first views of the Pacific Ocean. Bear right at the 5-way junction onto the spur to Mount Wittenberg's summit. The soft dirt trail is covered by thick canopy from smaller pine trees. White tail deer are a common site among the pines.

MWL004

Location: 38.038459, -122.822771

Keep right at 3-way to begin a short loop. Continue to follow the soft and wide path towards the summit. On the return, retrace steps back to the Z Camp Trail junction.

MWL005

Location: 38.039416, -122.821771

Mount Wittenberg (1,407 ft.): This forested summit (no views) is the highest point in Point Reyes National Seashore. Continue on the trail as it loops back to MWL004.

MWL006

Location: 38.037443, -122.823584

Head north-northwest on Z Ranch Trail (the intersection is well marked). Ahead, hike beneath thick canopy; look for occasional coastal views to the left.

MWL007

Location: 38.046604, -122.826194

Bear right at Y-junction onto Horse Trail, which returns to the Bear Valley trailhead. You'll descend 1,100 feet in about 3 miles. Certain sections can get muddy in winter and spring. Note: The trail mapped here is different than the trail shown on USGS topo maps.

MWL008

Location: 38.045643, -122.804901

Cross bridge and follow trail sign to the right onto the Morgan Trail (toward Bear Valley trailhead). Eucalyptus trees tower to the east and the trail continues under a protective canopy.

MWL009

Location: 38.042572, -122.804604

Bear left at Y towards the meadows. The trail narrows significantly and skirts the Point Reyes stables.

MWL010

Location: 38.039675, -122.802687

Turn left at 3-way. The trail cuts through a meadow and along a road lined with a split rail fence. In spring, wildflowers abound in the meadow and along the fence (lupines and California poppies dominate). Follow the trail to the trailhead.

Northern View from Horse Trail

Location: 38.047753, -122.82423

Bear Valley Trailhead

Location: 38.039618, -122.799715

Sky Trail

Location: 38.036511, -122.800063

Ferns and Wildflowers

Location: 38.036816, -122.805153

Wildflower

Location: 38.036566, -122.811313

Yarrow along Sky Trail

Location: 38.037193, -122.814011

Douglas Lilies

Location: 38.037246, -122.816532

Douglas Lily

Location: 38.03706, -122.816376

Meadow

Location: 38.037208, -122.81827

Trail Marker

Location: 38.037443, -122.823517

Miniature Lupine

Location: 38.037113, -122.823936

Minature Lupine

Location: 38.037424, -122.824311

Wildflowers along the trail

Location: 38.046097, -122.813137

Tiny forget-me-nots line the trail.

Wildflower Meadows

Location: 38.039473, -122.801914

Path, Rail, and Road

Location: 38.03995, -122.801131