The Laguna Loop is an easy/moderate grassland 5-mile trail, perfect for hiking with kids. It rings miles of dunes and coastal scrub just north of San Francisco. It intersects with two other trails (Fire Trail and Coast Trail) so you can lengthen your hike for beach access. Start at the Laguna Loop Trailhead on Point Reyes Youth Hostel Road (about seven miles west of Bear Valley Visitor Center). Head south on the Laguna Loop that dips into a small valley before ascending to the Fire Trail junction. By staying straight on Fire Trail, you’ll cross another valley scattered with brush and come to Coast Trail junction. Here, take a right on the gravel path and you’ll come over sand dunes to Santa Maria Beach ringed by ocean, coastline, and bluffs. From Santa Maria Beach you can rejoin the Laguna Loop to climb back up to the trailhead. The network covers mostly flat, open ground, and though it’s different than your average wooded hike, its exposed layout provides several different viewpoints of California’s coast.
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