Distance: 3.2 miles roundtrip (5.1 km), easy
Start from the Bear Valley Trailhead and stroll through a forest of towering Douglas fir trees alongside Bear Valley Creek. The trail is fairly well shaded and several benches along the way offer resting spots. The trail gradually ascends 240 feet (73 meters) over 1.6 miles (2.6 km), crossing the creek a few times, before the forest gives way to Divide Meadow.
Two vault toilets are available at Divide Meadow, but no water is available. If you would like to take a break or enjoy a picnic in this beautiful area, please be mindful not to trample the sensitive meadow vegetation. Please Leave No Trace.
From Divide Meadow, you can retrace your steps back to the trailhead or continue deeper into the Phillip Burton Wilderness via the Bear Valley Trail or Old Pine Trail, which descends from Inverness Ridge just south of the vault toilets.
Along the northern three miles of the Bear Valley Trail, you can see evidence of the backfires that were set to combat the Woodward Fire, which was started by lightning strikes in August of 2020.
The Bear Valley Trail to Divide Meadow is a multi-use trail and is shared with bicyclists and horse riders. Please yield to horses, and be respectful of all users.
This route description alone is not a substitute for a trail map. Print out the Point Reyes National Seashore's South District trail map (3,422 KB PDF) before your visit, or pick one up at the Bear Valley Visitor Center on your way.
Always check the current conditions before heading out into the park, for up to date information on closures and hazards. Visit our park regulations web page for more information on specific regulations.
Visit the park's Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore page for hiking tips and information about trail etiquette and safety.
Visit the park's Trail Advisories and Closures page for current information about closed trails, trails blocked by trees, or other temporary hazards or advisories.