California_Sept-Oct-2016 travel blog

The easy 1.4-mile trail to Sky Camp was perfect for a weekend...

Most of the 12 sites at Sky Campground have some privacy and...

Sky Campsite #5 had plenty of shade, a welcome feature on the...

Overnight backpacking the easy way -- picnic tables and food storage boxes

Vault toilets, trash and recycle containers were more conveniences not always available...

Running water was the best convenience -- no need to pack heavy...

From Sky Camp it was an easy, short 2.4-mile (round trip) hike...

Limantour Spit and Drake's Bay: One of the few views from the...

How to relax and dry out your feet after hiking 6 miles

Sunset began at 18:56

Cooler air turning to fog enhanced the colours over the Point Reyes...

The finale to end the show 5 minutes later.


Saturday, September 24: Backpacking to Sky Campground

Weather: Warm and sunny

Route: Sir Francis Drake Hwy from Samuel P. Taylor --> Limantour Rd. --> Sky Trailhead --> Sky Campground

The Sky Campground that Hubby discovered in Point Reyes National Seashore was a perfect backpacking destination for us. It was an easy 1.4-mile backpack to the campsite and offered more trails than we could cover in one day hike, giving us an excuse to enjoy 2 quiet nights in nature.

At 10:00 we were lucky enough to get a parking spot at the trailhead as a party of outbound hikers was leaving. The air was already warming up. We were glad Sky Trail was mostly shaded.

Setting up the Sierra Design tent, eating a quick lunch and stowing our gear in the food locker didn't take long. By 12:30 we were heading out for the 1.2-mile hike to find the top of Mount Wittenberg, which at 1407' was the highest point in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Unlike other peak hikes, the trail didn't take us above the tree line for 360-degree views. In fact, the healthy new stands of conifers allowed only occasional glimpses down the slope to the ocean. At the end of the trail was supposed to be a geologic marker on a rock. Trying to not disturb a hiking group eating lunch in the area, we looked but never did find the marker. I was glad we didn't try to hike the 5 miles (RT) to this summit as a day hike from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. At this time of year, with no wildflowers blooming or birds migrating, it was not a very interesting hike.

We were back at camp in plenty of time to eat dinner and clean up everything before heading to an open space for the sunset show. To our dismay, two large group of campers were setting up for a weekend party. We lost count of how many cases of beer and other non-legal alcoholic beverages were hiked in. (They were smart enough to know when the Ranger made his rounds and only walked in after he had left.)

Oh, well...the sunset was spectacular.

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