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This is a short, paved trail that explores the San Andreas Fault Zone from the Bear Valley Picnic Area.

Earthquake Trail leads in a .6 mile loop from the Bear Valley Picnic Area. It consists of a paved trail exploring the San Andreas Fault Zone. Interpretive signs along the pathway describe the geology of the area.

Three to six hour hikes

SKY - BEAR VALLEY LOOP (10.5 mi.) A nice varied hike, through mixed Douglas-fir forest and also open grass with coastal views and beach access. Begin by climbing the Mt. Wittenberg Trail (1350' elevation in 1.4 mi.) and then continue through the forest all the way out Sky Trail to Coast Trail. A ten minute detour, to the right on Coast Trail will bring you to Kelham Beach.

Then continue south on Coast Trail to Arch Rock. Enjoy your last coastal
view here, before returning via Bear Valley Trail, through beautiful
buckeyes and mixed Douglas forest and along Coast Creek- (Begins at Bear Valley Trailhead, at the end of Bear Valley Parking Lot.)

ARCH ROCK via BEAR VALLEY (8.2 mi.) Probably the single most popular trail in the park, the Bear Valley Trail is the most direct walk to the ocean from Bear Valley Visitor Center. This pleasant stroll through mixed Douglas-fir forest and along Bear Valley Creek is sheltered from sun, wind and coastal fog. Arch Rock is an overlook point. Kelham Beach is accessible from the Kelham Beach Trail, 0.8 mi. north on Coast Trail. (Begins at Bear Valley Trailhead, at the end of the Bear Valley Parking Lot.)

BASS LAKE (6 mi.) and WILDCAT BEACH (11 mi.) The south end of Coast Trail begins with spectacular ocean views from far above. It can be windy &
exposed, with only occasional canopy overhead. In the summer, look for
salmon berries and thimble berries! Bass Lake is unofficially the best
swimming at Point Reyes, but access can be challenging and there are no
lifeguards-swim at your own risk! If you chose to continue to Wildcat you'll
be rewarded with ocean and lake views and a beautiful beach! Either way
return via Coast Trail. (Begins at Palomarin Trailhead, 40 min. driving time
south of Bear Valley, at the end of Mesa Rd.)

WOODWARD VALLEY LOOP (approx. 12 mi.) This trail includes beautiful forest and spectacular coastal hiking. Begin from Bear Valley Trail, climbing either Mt. Wittenberg or Meadow Trail to Sky Trail. Continue to Woodward Valley, one of the lushest, greenest trails in the park. Follow this all the way down to Coast Trail where you'll enjoy open ocean views as you head south to Bear Valley. Beach access is marked along your way at both Sculptured Beach and Kelham Beach. Both are beautiful and remote beaches.
From Arch Rock, follow Bear Valley Trail back to Bear Valley Visitor Center,
a gentle grade through beautiful buckeyes, oaks, and Douglas Firs. (Begins at the Bear Valley Trailhead at the end of the Bear Valley Parking Lot.)

Directions: From Highway 1, At Olema turn into the park entrance on Bear Valley Road. The Bear Valley Visitor Center is approximately a one minute drive from the park entrance. Across the street from the visitor center is the Bear Valley Picnic Area. The trailhead lies within the picnic area.

Elevation: 60 feet

Distance: .6 miles

Difficulty: Easy

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Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.