Chimney Sweep

Hike the Chimney Rock Path (U.S. Nationwide Park Service)

Distance: 1.8 mi. (2.9 km) roundtrip

Chimney Rock Trail offers spectacular views of Drakes Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and, in spring, wildflowers along this open coastal walk. From January through May, look for gray whales as they migrate past the point.

The trail begins at the Chimney Rock Trailhead. A narrow dirt path leads to a viewpoint at the southeast end of the Point Reyes Headlands. For your safety, please stay on the official trail and stay away from the bluff tops. Every now and then, with little to no warning, coastal erosion results in cliff faces collapsing. The narrowest section of the Chimney Rock peninsula located ~0.4 miles (600 meters) along the trail and the southwest corner of the peninsula just beyond are both very prone to coastal erosion. Fissures along the bluff tops and freshly exposed vertical faces of rock are evidence of the instability of this area. Immediately beyond the narrow section, the trail climbs a short distance along a rutted section of soft rock before leveling off. After the climb, there are a number of small social trails to the right. These are not park maintained trails. Stay on the official trail, as some of the bluff tops in this area have been undercut, are unstable, and may fall into the Pacific at anytime. The trail continues down the middle of the peninsula, with views of the water in almost every direction. Listen for elephant seals barking on the beaches below. The trail ends at the southeast end of the peninsula where visitors may enjoy the view while sitting on park benches. On clear days, vistas extend to San Francisco and Montara Mountain above Half Moon Bay.

This route description alone is not a substitute for a trail map. Print out the park’s Chimney Rock Area Map (125 KB PDF) before your visit, or pick up a park map or hiking map at a visitor center on your way.

Always check current conditions before heading out into the park and familiarize yourself with park regulations. Please practice Leave No Trace principles.

Visit the park’s Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore page for hiking tips and information about trail etiquette and safety.

Visit the park’s Trail Advisories and Closures page for current information about closed trails, trails blocked by trees, or other temporary hazards or advisories.

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