- The trail to Point Bennett on San Miguel island leads through the interior of the island to the westernmost point. The trail begins at the Cuyler Harbor landing and leads along the beach almost one mile to the east. The trail then leads through Nidever Canyon. Hiking through the canyon is the most difficult portion of the endeavor to Point Bennett. The trail is steep and rough, although it is only one half mile long.
Once on top of the island plateau it's easy going. The trail leads one half mile past the Cabrillo Monument, campground and Lester Ranch Site to the ranger station. Anyone venturing past this point must be in tow of a ranger, due to the fragile landforms of the island.
From the ranger station the trail leads westward over a variety of landforms including the highest point on the island, San Miguel Hill. The terrain is mainly dunes and rolling hills, but relatively flat. Two miles from the ranger station is the northern fork of the trail that leads to Caliche Forest. Continue walking westward at this fork. Point Bennett is four miles from this fork.
The advantage to having a ranger-led tour is that she/he will point out, and possess knowledge about, interesting natural features and plant and animal species you may encounter. The trail leads across Green Mountain and passes a dry lakebed as it leads across the interior of the island. It eventually meanders back to the sea cliffs and the last mile to the point leads along the plateau edge.
Point Bennett is one of the largest pinniped breeding areas in the world. Several different species come to this sheltered beach including: the northern fur seal, elephant seal, California sea lion and the harbor seal. The peak months for breeding are May and June, but hikers will be pleased with the turn out at anytime of the year.