Laguna and Coast Trails at Point Reyes National Seashore
Date: Saturday, September 10, 2022
Time: 9 am to 3 pm
Field trip leader: Susan Schlosser

Please sign up for this field trip by emailing Susan Schlosser. Susan will send you a link to the waiver.

Santa Maria BeachWe will meet at the Laguna Trailhead at Point Reyes National Seashore. The 5.2-mile field trip takes the Laguna Trail and the Fire Lane Trail to the Coast Trail. We’ll have lunch at Coast Camp and take the Coast Trail back to the road and trailhead. There is a 240-foot elevation gain in the first mile, and then we descend to the coast. On the return there is a very gradual ascent covering 3 miles. There is a restroom at the lunch spot but not at the Laguna Trailhead.

We will encounter the Laguna Wetlands and riparian areas along the Laguna and Coast Trails. On the lower Fire Lane Trail and at the Santa Maria Beach, we will see the lower Santa Maria creek wetlands. In these wet places, plants we may see include Pacific willow (Salix lasiandra var. lasiandra), Red Alder (Alnus rubra), California buckeye (Aesculus californicus), Pacific rush (Juncus effuses var. pacifus), panicled bulrush (Scirpus microcarpus), cattail (Typha latifolia), bur-weed (Sparganium eurycarpum), California bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus), and common three square (Schoenoplectus pungens).


Coast Camp beach wetlandIn between the wetlands, we walk through a diverse coastal scrub habitat dominated by tall coyote brush (Bacharis pilularis var consanguinea) interspersed with California wax myrtle (Morella californica), coffee berry (Fragula californica), ceanothus (Ceanothus thrysiflorus var. repens), common horsetail (Equisetum arvense), California honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), western sword fern (Polystichum munitum), Thimble berry (Rubus nutkanus), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), California mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana), and scattered Bishop Pines (Pinus muricata). Flowers we are likely to see include tarweeds (Madia sativa and Deinandra corymbosa), Sticky Monkey Flower (Diplaucus aurantiacus), Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea), pale flax (Linum bienne*), and everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius*). *Not native to Point Reyes.

Driving directions:  Starting at Olema, head northwest on CA-1 N toward Bear Valley Rd.  Turn left onto Bear Valley Rd.  From the Bear Valley Road, turn onto the Limantour Road. Go 5.9 miles on the Limantour Road. At the bottom of a steep grade, go left towards the Environmental Education Center. The Laguna Trailhead and parking lot are at the end of this road on the right.

 California bulrush 1Madia sativaSticky monkey flower Pearly everlasting