Pt Reyes National Seashore in the Woods

If a place is named Pt Reyes National Seashore, you would think we’d walk along the coast. We have. Links to those posts are listed below. But the park has over 71,000 acres and some of that is wooded and mountainous.

Pt Reyes Bear Valley Visitor Center

Earlier this month we started at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. With 150 miles of trails in Pt Reyes, there’s plenty of new territory to explore.

The Bear Valley Trail is 4 miles to the ocean. We planned to make it to Divide Meadow for a 3-mile round trip. It’s a wide trail with gradual rise. Being near the visitor’s center, it’s popular, but on a Wednesday we occasionally had the path to ourselves.

Bear Valley trailhead Pt Reyes

Several trails come off Bear Valley Trail and many backpacking groups were starting off for more rigorous hikes and overnight camping. Another flat trail from here is Rift Trail along the San Andreas Fault. That fault runs between Pt Reyes and the rest of California.

Start of Pt Reyes Bear Valley Trail

Under the trees, I enjoyed the sound of a clear creek that wound back and forth under the trail. At one crossing, it looked like the culvert was 8’ high. Even after recent rains, I guess a lot more water can come down out of the hills.

Pt Reyes stream

The area is lush with ferns. In more open side valleys, the alders grew in steep leans, so it looked like they were weaving baskets.

Bear Valley to ocean

At the top, the view opened to the Divide Meadow. Away from the creek, the jay and insect noise took over. Other people had stopped to rest or enjoy a snack. We relished the sunshine for a while.

Bear Valley Pt Reyes

It’s 2.7 miles to the ocean and others headed that way. We had walked the 1.4 miles here and wondered how the sign decided it was 1.6 miles back. Whatever, we had no choice and worked our way down the hill.

Pt Reyes lush trail

Click for Pt Reyes National Seashore website includes all the things to do and places to go.

Bathrooms: Near Visitor Center and at Divide Meadow.

No dogs on Bear Valley Trail. Dogs must be on leash at the beaches where allowed.

Road to Limantour was closed due to culvert collapse under a road.

Links: Walk at Abbott’s Lagoon. Oops, thought we’d written about the Pt Tomales part of park – the one with the elk! And Limantour. And Drake’s Beach. Dang, we’ll have to go again and again and again.

See you on the trail!

Words by Lynn Millar and Photos by Mike Millar

Stopping on the way home at Tomales Bay to check on the guys.

Tomales Bay Rock

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