ElevationAscent: 616' 188 m
Descent: -712' -217 m
High: 559' 170 m
Low: 10' 3 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)
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“Sheltered beaches and blue waters draw nature lovers to this beautiful trail.”— Megan W
Johnstone Trail continues as a moderate climb up broad switchbacks. At the high point, the Johnstone Neighborhood Connector turns off to the south. Continue straight on the Johnstone Trail as it contours along the hillside before dipping down to meet the Jepson Trail. At this junction, head east to stay on the Johnstone Trail. Cross a paved private access road amongst Bishop pine, live oak and coffeeberry.
The forest becomes less dense on the descent to a marshy creek area crossed by wooden bridges. Switchback more steeply down to the aptly-named Pebble Beach. Narrow and more secluded than Heart's Desire Beach, Pebble Beach backs onto a marsh.
Back on the Johnstone Trail, head across level ground to the parking lots or to the overlook/picnic area above busy Heart's Desire Beach. A series of steps lead down to the beach itself. The Johnstone Trail honors the conservationists Bruce and Elsie Johnstone who worked to protect this area by including it in the Tomales Bay State Park. A plaque dedicated to them has been erected next to the trail. Note: bikes are not allowed on this trail system.
Tomales Bay factoid: the 1906 San Francisco earthquake moved the San Andreas fault here under Tomales Bay more than 20 feet northward - the greatest displacement measured for the entire fault.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Point Reyes National Seashore