Place

Bear Valley Trailhead

A small hawk with a white-spotted chest sits atop a brown sign that reads
The Bear Valley Trailhead is a popular spot, even for the locals!

NPS / A. Kopshever

Quick Facts

Benches/Seating, Bus/Shuttle Stop, Cellular Signal, Electric Car Charging Station, Hitching Post/Corral, Information Kiosk/Bulletin Board, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Recycling, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Trailhead, Trash/Litter Receptacles

The Bear Valley Trailhead is a popular place to begin a hiking, biking, or horse riding adventure in Point Reyes National Seashore. Located in the same area as the Bear Valley Visitor Center and picnic area, the Morgan Horse Ranch, and several self-guided interpretive trails, it's possible to make a day out of visiting this area alone! The Bear Valley, Rift Zone, Morgan, and Woodpecker trails all depart from the Bear Valley Trailhead and connect with many other trails, offering dozens of possible routes. Many of these routes pass through the Phillip Burton Wilderness.

Suggested Routes From This Trailhead 

Walk the Woodpecker Nature Trail: 0.9 mi. (1.5 km) roundtrip
Hike to Divide Meadow: 3.2 miles (5.1 km) roundtrip, easy
Bike the Bear Valley Trail to the Glen Trail Junction: 6.2 miles (10 km) roundtrip, easy
Hike to Kelham Beach: 10 miles (16 km) roundtrip, moderate
Hike to Mount Wittenberg from Bear Valley: 4.8 to 6.5 miles (7.7 to 10.4 km) roundtrip, strenuous
Hike the Meadow–Horse Trails Loop: 6.5 miles (10.4 km) roundtrip, strenuous
Hike the Sky–Bear Valley Loop : 10.8 miles (17.4 km) roundtrip, strenuous
Hike the Woodward Valley Loop: 13 miles (21 km) roundtrip, strenuous

Hike the Rift Zone Trail to the Vedanta Society Retreat Access Road: 2 miles (3.2 km) roundtrip, easy
Hike the Rift Zone Trail: 8.6 mi (13.8 km) roundtrip, moderate
Ride a Horse on the Rift Zone Trail: 8.6 mi (13.8 km) roundtrip, moderate
(The Vedanta Society Property, which the Rift Zone Trail enters ~1 mile (~1.6 km) south of the Bear Valley Trailhead, is only open to the general public from 8 am until 2 hours before sunset.)

App Users: For more information on these specific routes, press the "Things to Do" icon on the park's homepage and select "Hiking" or "Biking" from the list of activities. Find the options listed above, or browse routes that begin at the park's other trailheads.

Park Regulations

  • Take only pictures; leave only footprints: Almost everything one finds at Point Reyes is protected by law, including shells, rocks, fossils, flowers, and artifacts.
  • Please only travel on authorized trails, respect posted signs, and practice Leave No Trace principles when recreating in the park.
  • Check current conditions and trail advisories and closures before your visit.
  • Bicycles are only permitted on the northernmost 3.1 miles (5 km) of the Bear Valley Trail, e.g., from the Bear Valley Trailhead to the trail's junction with the Glen and Baldy trails. Surrounding area trails are closed to bikes; bicycles are prohibited in Wilderness.
  • Pets are not permitted on any of the routes that start from the Bear Valley Trailhead. Visit our Pets page to learn where pets are permitted at Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Horses and pack animals are permitted on most park trails, including most of the routes that start from the Bear Valley Trailhead. However, they are prohibited on the Mount Wittenberg Trail and on self-guided interpretive trails, such as the Earthquake Trail, the Woodpecker Trail, or Kule Loklo. There are also additional restrictions on weekends and federal holidays. Please visit our Horse Riding page for more information.
  • Drones are not permitted anywhere in Point Reyes National Seashore.

Parking

To help reduce traffic congestion in the paved parking lots adjacent to the Bear Valley Visitor Center, if you are going for a hike, please park your vehicle(s) in the large gravel parking lot on the east (left) side of the access road just northeast of the Bear Valley Trailhead. The gravel parking lot has room for ~210 vehicles, whereas there are only ~50 spaces in the paved lots. Parking is free. Download the Bear Valley Area Map (427 KB PDF), which shows the location of the trailhead parking lot relative to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Pull-through spots are available for oversized vehicles, such as RVs and horse trailers, on the west (right) side of the access road just northwest of the trailhead.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Last updated: March 12, 2022