Point Reyes's Cliffs of Insanity: the Chimney Rock Trail
Chimney Rock's 1.8 mile trail offers stunning views of the Pacific, Drake's Bay, and 500 foot cliffs plunging into the ocean.
The hike's namesake rock formation, Chimney Rock, located at trail's end, juts out into the water where Bay meets Pacific.
Added hike bonuses include whale spotting, colonies of elephant seals who call the beaches below he bluffs home, and wildflowers coloring the downs in the early spring.
Point Reyes National Seashore is about an hour's drive north of San Francisco on the 101 and then on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Chimney Rock is an additional 45-minute drive from the visitor center.
Weekend visitors are required to park at Drake's Beach and to take a $5.00 shuttle to the trailhead. This hike is best combined with the brief but calf-busting Lighthouse trail.
WARNING: Don't be deceived by the sunny photo! Point Reyes is the Bay Area's foggiest and windiest place. Wear layers and pack a beanie.