Point Reyes National Seashore, part of the conservation effort by the U.S. National Parks Service, is about an hour and a half drive north from San Francisco and is a nature lover/hiker/photographer/wilderness lover’s paradise all rolled in one. Home to more than 1500 species of flora and fauna, cattle ranches, pristine sand beaches, idyllic countryside contrasting with roaring ocean waves crashing against the rocks and sanctuary to mating marine mammals, this seashore extending all the way from Drake’s beach in the south to Tomales Bay in the north is a must visit if you are in the Bay Area. Being a protected coast-land, there are several rules and restrictions one needs to abide by for individual safety and that of the environment and dogs are prohibited from entering most places, except Kehoe beach trail. There are several closures and detours year round to regulate traffic, so your best bet to have an enjoyable experience while respecting Mother Nature is by visiting the website here.
Being sanctuary to many indigenous plants and animals who call Pt. Reyes their home, it is but natural that this area is heavily restricted to visitors with pets since dogs are viewed as natural predators by many species. Plus it is never a good idea to venture into a cattle ranch, with protective mother cows, with a dog. As a result, almost all the trails and beaches are off limits to dogs barring a few. For more information and how to access them, read the excellent info page on pets at Pt. Reyes, here. I have always wanted to visit this part of the Bay Area due to its pristine beauty and despite most parts being off-limits owing to bringing a pet (no complaining here, I completely understand and support the conservation laws sanctioned by our beautiful state), we drove up to Tomales Bay to enjoy nature’s beauty with Babu and made it a point to visit Kehoe beach.
We spent the last weekend at Pt. Reyes with Babu and stayed overnight at the Inverness Inns (a series of beautiful cottages on a sprawling property adjacent to the beautiful Tomales Bay) which are very dog friendly and charge a small fee ($ 20) for staying with a pet. Although the cottage grounds are dog-friendly (dogs have to be on leash), we headed off to Kehoe beach, one of the three beaches where on-leash dogs are allowed by land. There is a beautiful, narrow trail leading to the beach from the main road with cows grazing on a cattle ranch in the distance. Read my ultimate guide to Pt. Reyes for more ideas on how to explore this beautiful part of California.
We walked down the trail all the way to the breathtakingly beautiful beach which was pretty empty at that time of the day (late afternoon). The waves were strong and noisy as they repeatedly hurled themselves on the big, black rocks scattered on the sandy shores. The shoreline, far away, seemed to be enveloped by a mist due to the incessant crashing of the waves. Babu was on leash at the beach most of the times, till we found a rock to rest on and take in the salty air. We left just before sundown, as the hunger pangs crept in and said adieu to Kehoe Beach, with a promise of returning soon. One more gem of a place to take your best friend to at Point Reyes, do not give Kehoe beach and trail a miss!
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