The hiking book: Point Reyes National Seashore trail map and handy advice from the ranger at Bear Valley Visitor Center
The distance: 4.5 miles each way
The CityGirls rating: 5

We turned adventure up a notch and went backpacking recently with our friends Star and Comet.

We had a reserved campsite at Glen Camp in Point Reyes National Seashore, a very reasonable 4.5 mile hike from the Visitor Center. It was a low-key, one night backpacking trip, which was just what we wanted!

We didn’t get on the trail until early afternoon, so it was a rather warm hike up to Glen Camp. And yes, it was up. Some day we’ll find a backpacking trail that’s flat and doesn’t require hauling up a hill … or mountain … and it will be pretty awesome. This hike, however, was not it.

We alternated between open meadows and not-too-dense forest for most of the hike, though the foliage got more dense up near the camp site. The meadows were beautiful in the sunlight and just turning to gold.

We made it to the camp site, which was pretty plush as backpacking sites go. Really it was a whole mini hike-in campground with picnic tables, running water, pit toilets. Oh, and a camp fox.

Yep, this little guy was walking around like he owned the place and was really far too comfortable with people. His favorite afternoon pastime was to sit on top of the picnic tables in the unoccupied camp sites and survey his domain. And have his picture taken. ‘Cuz that’s the foxy life, right? Putting in appearances for all your admiring fans … and grabbing table scraps when no one’s looking.

We decided we really needed to rename the bear box in our camp site a “fox box.”

(Don’t all of your backpacking sites come with a lovely metal box to store all your food? And a grill? I mean, whenever we go backpacking, we always bring a bag of charcoal to use on the grill.)

We enjoyed the sunshine and our awesome Thermarest chairs for a bit, then made dinner. We know, it looks like random mush in the photo, but it was really quite tasty and we were very proud of ourselves for coming up with such a tasty backpacking meal. And Star and Comet brought wine to round out the meal. Plus, everything tastes better when eaten out of squishy bowls (we gave these squishy bowls to Star for Christmas and are glad to see she’s getting some use out of them!)

The hike back the next morning was pretty easy, but hot! We were the last ones out of the campground in the morning, and as the sun beat down, we realized why everyone else had been so motivated to get an early start.

We stopped at the awesome Co-op in Fairfax on our way back for some tasty sandwiches and massive cookies. Maybe this is why we like to go backpacking—so that we have an excuse to eat lots of yummy food like chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds, chocolate pudding, and chocolate chip cookies (hmm… noticing a pattern here?).

Time: 3.5 hours.
Ease of following designated hike: 10. It was a straight shot on three trails, and direction and distance signs were abundant.
Solitude: 2. It just doesn’t feel like backpacking when there are people passing by your camp site every two minutes. The trails were very busy as well.