San Francisco: Bear Valley Trail

Go from an active fault zone to thundering ocean spray on this classic 9.4-mile out-and-back in Point Reyes National Seashore.
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Go from an active fault zone to thundering ocean spray on this classic 9.4-mile out-and-back in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.7

Waypoints

BVT001

Location: 38.0395584106445, -122.799697875977

Well-marked multiuse trail runs along Bear Valley Creek under Douglas fir stands. Just E of trailhead is where the N. American and Pacific plates grind along the San Andreas Fault

BVT002

Location: 38.0364990234375, -122.800201416016

Stay straight for Bear Valley Trail; CA banana slugs inch across path

BVT003

Location: 38.0299186706543, -122.80249786377

Trail nears creek again

BVT004

Location: 38.0288200378418, -122.803100585938

Cross bridge and continue straight on Bear Valley Trail

BVT005

Location: 38.0191688537598, -122.800903320312

Reach grassy Divide Meadow; black-tailed deer wander late in the day

BVT006

Location: 37.9993286132812, -122.798896789551

Straight @ 3-way continue on Bear Valley Trail to Arch Rock

BVT007

Location: 37.998218536377, -122.801399230957

Anna's hummingbirds dart among CA poppies, Douglas iris; on R, gentle Coast Creek waterfall tumbles over boulders

BVT008

Location: 37.9906311035156, -122.810501098633

L @ Y to Arch Rock

BVT009

Location: 37.9895896911621, -122.812202453613

Straight @ 4-way, first views of Pacific open to N where Point Reyes Light Station (c. 1870) looks over Gulf of Farralone and Drakes Bay

BVT010

Location: 37.9874496459961, -122.813400268555

Bluffs above Arch Rock, only sea arch in Point Reyes. Scramble to shoreline to stand under sea stacks and a cave formed by surf and wind; retrace route to car