Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,692.00 ft (515.72 m)
Trail type
7.50 mi (12.07 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

This hike takes travelers on a loop that connects one of the tallest peaks in Point Reyes, Point Reyes Hill, and Muddy Hollow, one of the lowest places. It’s a light-trafficked loop with a significant amount of elevation gain and loss that can, under good conditions, get nearly overrun by Califonia Newts.

Start at the Bayview Trailhead. The parking lot there rarely gets full, so feel free to arrive later in the day. There’s an information sign describing the Vision Fire that burned down the entire hillside that will be spread in front of you. You will hike through the burn zone, however, nearly all remnants of the fire are gone by now.

From the trailhead, head out on the Inverness Ridge trail. Follow it for 2.5 miles. The trail will roughly follow the elevation line for the first half. It will then connect to a road for less than 0.1 mile before branching off on the left side of the road to disappear into the woods once again. The second part of the trail has significantly more elevation gain.

The second part of the trail is also the place where visitors are most likely to see California Newts (also called orange-bellied newts) and/or rough-skinned newts if the weather is wet and warm. When the conditions are right, the place swarms with them. Distinguishing between these two species can be tricky. California newts have very few natural predators, as they produce the potent tetrodotoxin neurotoxin, which is stronger than cyanide and can kill most vertebrates, including humans. Even with its natural protections, the California newt is on the California Special Concern list, as non-native species and human developments.

At the end of the final, 0.7-mile long climb, the trail brings hikers to the top of Point Reyes Hill. It stands 1,339 feet tall and offers sweeping views of the coastline and the green hills to the west.

After rounding the service area, there’s a bench on the left, ideal for a small break and enjoying the views. From there, drop down into Muddy Hollow by following the 2.2 miles long Bucklin Trail.

At the end of Bucklin Trail, you’ll be at 280 feet. Turn left onto Muddy Hollow Road. If you’re visiting during a rainy season, be ready, as the trail will be true to its name. Please stay on the trail even if it means getting your shoes dirty and wet to help prevent erosion and avoid trampling plants.

Follow Muddy Hollow Road for 0.9 mile until it brings you to a junction. At 117 feet, it’s the lowest point of the hike. There, turn left onto Bayview Trail. (If you keep going straight and cross a creek, you will end up at Muddy Hollow Trailhead. You can pre-arrange with a friend to pick you up there if you desire for a shorter adventure. However, be advised; there’s no phone service, so you won’t be able to make a call from there to make arrangements on the spot.)

Follow Bayview Trail for half a mile. Then, keep left on the fork to stay on Bayview Trail and follow it for another 1.6 mile until its end at Bayview Trailhead, where this particular adventure ends.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Mostly shaded. Nice views. Doesn't get hot. A lot of greenery. Frequented by newts.


Can get quite muddy in parts. End of hike is up a long hill.

Trailhead Elevation

783.00 ft (238.66 m)

Highest point

1,343.00 ft (409.35 m)


Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Adventures

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore


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