Then & Now: San Andreas Fault and Habitat Diversity

The San Andreas Fault parallels the eastern border of the park and separates the North American and Pacific Tectonic Plates. Due to the variety of habitat and uniqueness of the geology, 490 species of birds have been spotted here, eighty species of mammals, eighty-five species of fish, twenty-nine species of reptiles and amphibians, and thousands of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate species.

Click and drag the circle at the center of the photos left and right to compare the then and now images.

Alice Eastwood at Bear Valley Ranch, 1906
A black and white photo of a woman standing in a surface rupture, where the soil has been turned over, with a barn in the background. A color photo of a grassy hillside sloping down to the left. Three blue, four-foot-tall posts are placed in-line with a red barn in the distance.
Alice Eastwood stands in a surface rupture at the W Ranch shortly after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Credit: Point Reyes National Seashore Archives #016980.
Blue posts now mark the location of 1906 Earthquake's surface rupture. (2019) Credit: NPS Photo / Ted Barone.

Shortly after the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, Alice Eastwood stood in a surface rupture stretching along the side of a shutter ridge at the W Ranch—now the location of the Seashore's Headquarters and Bear Valley Visitor Center. A hay barn—now the Seashore's "Red Barn"—is visible in the background. Alice Eastwood was a renowned naturalist and an employee of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

The W Ranch Hay Barn, 1906
A black and white photo of a barn that is tilted slightly to the right and a broken fence in the foreground. A color photo of one of the ends of a 25-foot-tall red barn with sloping roofs and wood-framed windows. Picnic tables occupy a grassy area in foreground.
The W Ranch's hay barn and the fences around it were damaged as a result of the earthquake. Credit: Point Reyes National Seashore Archives #927817.
The W Ranch's hay barn in Bear Valley is now called the Red Barn. It houses the National Seashore Archives and class/meeting rooms. (2019) Credit: NPS Photo / Ted Barone.

The W Ranch's hay barn was damaged as a result of the San Francisco Earthquake on April 18, 1906, as the ground shifted underneath. Fences snapped as the earth moved.

Levee Road after the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
A black and white photo of a road that should be straight but which has an abrupt displacement to the right in the middle distance. An early 1900s automobile is visible beyond where the road is broken.. A color photo of a straight paved road with a car driving away from the photographer.
Credit: Point Reyes National Seashore Archives #00670.
Credit: NPS / Ted Barone.

The Levee Road between Point Reyes Station and Inverness crosses a marsh at the head of Tomales Bay. It has been sitting on top of mud since its construction in 1868. The Earthquake of 1906 moved the Point Reyes peninsula up to 20 feet northwest, relative to the rest of the North American continent. The Levee road was straight before the earthquake, but the west side shifted north about 20 feet during the earthquake

Last updated: February 29, 2020

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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