Bear Valley Picnic Area

Picnickers eating lunch at picnic tables in a meadow near some tall trees.
Picnickers at the Bear Valley Picnic Area.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts
Bear Valley, Point Reyes National Seashore. Geo-coordinates: 38.0409, -122.7992.

Grill, Parking - Auto, Picnic Table, Recycling, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Drinking/Potable

Point Reyes National Seashore's largest picnic area is located at Bear Valley, across the access road from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Tall Douglas fir and California bay laurel trees provide shade at some of the picnic tables. Use of the picnic tablesĀ is free of charge and first-come, first-served, except for a reservable group section.

Rules for Picnicking:

  • Leaving food unattended is prohibited.
  • Don't feed the wildlife.
  • Don't litter. Take all waste home or dispose of all waste in garbage and/or recycling receptacles provided. Please don't put any non-recyclable materials in recycling receptacles.
  • Leave No Trace. Do not carve into the picnic tables.
  • Gas Campstoves and Charcoal Grills:
    • Visitors are welcome to use their own small portable gas campstoves or charcoal barbecue grills.
    • Wood fires are prohibited. Visit our Beach Fires page for information about building wood fires in the national seashore.
    • Only charcoal briquettes are permitted to be burned in barbecue grills; e.g., no wood.
    • Gas campstoves and charcoal fires must be attended anytime they are generating heat. Do not depart until the coals and ashes are cold to the touch.
    • All ash and used and unused briquettes must be packed out of the park. Do not put ash or briquettes in park dumpsters or trashcans.
  • If you move picnic tables, before you leave, move them back to where you found them when you arrived.
  • A designated section of the Bear Valley picnic area is available by reservation to groups of up to 100 people. Contact the Special Park Uses office at 415-464-5111 to reserve this section.
  • Groups of over 25 people who wish to picnic in the park must first obtain a permit. Because there are limited places in the park which can accommodate a picnic group of this size, and to minimize the impact of such a group on other visitors, a permit system is necessary for groups of 25 or more. Contact the Special Park Uses office at 415-464-5111 for more information.

Basic Information

  • Picnic tables: twenty-five (25)
  • Charcoal grills: five (5) family sized + one (1) group sized
  • Parking: Park in the gravel lot adjacent to the picnic area, not in the paved lot adjacent to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. (Directions to the Bear Valley Visitor Center; Download the Bear Valley Area Map [427 KB PDF])
  • Toilets: Flush toilets are available at the southern end of the picnic area.
  • Water: A water faucet is located near the restroom building.
  • Refuse disposal: Garbage and recycling receptacles are located adjacent to restroom building.
  • Shade: Part of the picnic area is located underneath tree cover.
  • Exposure to wind: Minimally exposed.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Last updated: January 21, 2024