Bear Valley trail a little dull but beautiful loop otherwise. Nice entry from oddly named Rift Zone trail.

I did a clockwise loop and added some bonus miles at arch rock because of the trail closure already mentioned. Pelican lookout (the small out and back at the southern end-not sure if that’s the right name) is also closed. The single track trails greenpicker ect are a bit overgrown and muddy. Highlights included alamere falls, whale and dolphin sightings, lots of wildflowers and an hour lunch on wildcat beach in the sunshine.

hiking
off trail
washed out
3 months ago

Beautiful coastline and if possible find access to less traveled spots to discover the hidden tide pools full of beautiful-treasures. The way back can be tricky, so carefully map out your return back so you don’t end up walking on roadside. Start early so you have more coast and tide pools too.

This trailer is super well maintained. As stated by previous reviewer, Crystal Lake Trail was in fact closed. Just ended up doing an extra little bit to go around it. Definitely don’t miss the arrowhead of rocks on the ground for alamere falls, that was really pretty. Everything has been weed-whacked down so there wasn’t really tall grass like the previous reviewer said. Overall this trail was absolutely breathtaking and I highly recommend. Would do it again in a heartbeat!!

mountain biking
8 months ago

Hard uphill, but well worth for the down hill. Just be care full with the ruts and loose gravel especially on the downhill towards Wildcat Camp, god knows I felt the ground. ( Dry Early September condition)

Great hike. Lots of poison oak on many trails. Gorgeous day. Trail conditions were good and not too many folks on the higher elevations which was nice for quiet reflection. Beautiful coastal view small part of the trail.

Note: the Crystal Lake trail has apparently been closed for some time so I was not able to take it and it required a detour on the coastal trail that probably added another mile or so. All in my Strava registered 22 miles on the dot and slightly less elevation gain than is noted here but I also skipped the second detour (after the falls). I hiked this counterclockwise as suggested by AllTrails. The trail to Glen Camp and Wildcat campground were in great shape, not muddy, very clear and had plenty of shade (although Day was overcast anyway). Only thing is that this version of the trail to wildcat meanders a lot so I had to keep taking phone out to check the direction I needed to take. Saw very few people here other than some backpackers that stayed at the campgrounds overnight. Just before Wildcat you start picking up the Coast Trails and they are quite a bit more exposed. Wasn’t an issue today but on a hot sunny day will be baking. Wildcat has additional water if you start to run low at this point (I brought 3.5L and was fine). Trail mostly in good condition though a bit overgrown / has high grass in a few places. Starts to get a lot busier when I meets up with the coastal trail again closer to the falls. Don’t miss the random little spur to Alamere - it’s makes by a big arrow made of rocks on the trail. The last part was by far the hardest. Most people are walking back from the falls to the parking lot at the end of the coastal trail - very few go up back to the ridge at this point. I look the Lake Ranch Trail (Or something like that) which was pretty overgrown. It was a nice trail but had several trees downed which required diverting through bushes and the grass was up to my waist in many places. Ran into absolutely no one here at all. All in all a good trail with a big mix of scenery and solid elevation profile but would probably double back from the falls and take one of the other trails back up rather than the one I took.

Meadow trail was very gradual and forgiving for an early climb in the trail. Sky trail was very relaxed and had great views of meadows and redwoods. Baldy Trail was overgrown with stinging nettle and poison oak. Don’t wear shorts on if you intend to go that route.

hiking
muddy
Thu Apr 18 2019

This was a fun adventure. It had stormed the day/night before so the trail was a bit wet but we had beautiful weather. All the flowers, butterflies and banana slugs we saw on the way in made up for the hike being partially on access roads. There is so much growth and green it was great! We camped the night so we had to turn into the camp rather than hiking strait to the falls and once relaxed did not walk the extra to see them up close but even at a distance on the beach they are impressive. We did have a consolation prize of watching a rockslide, which enforces not walking to close to the cliffs. **if you are staying overnight be ready to search for your site in the shrubbery, makes almost all sites pretty secluded (once you find it). Except 8 & 4 they are right next to each other.

The mileage as others state is a bit off. The shortcut down to the falls is a possible death trap of shale rock. We hiked down to the beach and entered that way. Low tide is the only possibly way to go in that route. We took the shortcut back from the falls which posed to be seemingly easier than watching the people slide down the rocks taking the shortcut in. Coast Guard regularly is there helping people out that are injured. Definitely recommend the extra mileage over the shortcut.

Nicely varied trail, starting and ending in woodland and a long middle section along the coast. This is one of the longer loops from the visitor center without needing to backtrack, so it's a nice full day. The meadow and valley trails are great for wildlife, try to hit them early or late in the day for best viewing chances. The section on Bear Valley trail is busy and kind of boring, consider an alternative for that part.

Took the reverse here. Started early (8am) on A Sunday from Bear Valley. We did not see any people at all until about 9:30, but which time we were nearly to the Sky Trail. Divide Meadow was gorgeous in the light of the rising sun, so quiet, full of birdsong. The hike up Old Pine was magical--felt like it was our own private forest. We couldn't get over the sunlight on the new greenery (see photos). It was a gradual enough climb--very comfortable. There were some very wet and muddy spots in the trail so we were grateful for our waterproof hiking boots. Sky Trail had some beautiful views of Limantour Spit in a light fog. We hiked up to the peak of Mt Wittenberg, but as others have said, you can't really see much from up there. But good views elsewhere. Saw chipmunk, red-tail hawk, black-tailed deer, a small lavender blue butterfly, possibly a Sierra Nevada blue. Wildflowers were just starting--lots of iris, poppy, lupines, monkey flower. Mt Wittenberg trail was all downhill, mostly very well maintained, but a little muddy, and a little but of a knee-strain toward the bottom. My iPhone app said it was about a 7 mile hike. It was just such a joy to see all the water and the green everywhere after so much drought.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
over grown
washed out
Sun Mar 03 2019

Fun, long and and great way to get to the falls.

14.7 miles is not accurate for this. I clocked in at 15 and I didn't make it all the way to Alamere Falls so I'd expect more around 16 miles total if you take the beach route, longer if you take the trail most likely. So, this is a really nice hike. Despite the mileage, I think it's pretty easy. The elevation gain is gradual throughout. Fair warning, you won't be able to make it to the falls if you take the beach unless it's very low tide. We were able to get about .75 miles on the beach before we decided to turn back. There's a portion where we could see it was impassable due to the waves. The walk on the beach is beautiful but also somewhat dangerous if you're not aware of the tides so if you're planning on doing this, plan very carefully and ensure you're hiking as close to low tide as possible, the waves come up almost to the cliffs in multiple spots. I plan on trying this one again but taking the trail to the falls from Wildcat camp instead of the beach. From what I saw, the Falls looked great. Looking forward to trying this one again. Also the road to the trailhead isn't paved, though wasn't an issue for my car (not AWD). Enjoy!

The trail as mapped is mostly on a road that a lot of horse riders also ride on. Though the area in general seems to have a lot of different trails to connect to and branch off of the road. We were there in August and passed about 8 horse riders on the trail throughout the day - aka we had to sidestep a good amount of manure. The beach and higher views towards the end are more beautiful than the beginning. Overall it served as a good training trail.

Did the reverse to have a gradual climb. Very easy and wide start to this and very pretty. Took the Old Pine Trial...VERY overgrown and no one else on path. We didn't get any ticks but can see how easy it would be on this trail. Do your checks. Some poison oak as well. We came out unscathed but is dampens your mood on the hike a little bit. It gets better at the Sky Trail junction all the way back. I can see that doing the climb first might kick the average shape person's ass a little bit. Overall a good trail and great scenery. No horses on Holidays and weekends make it easier for the hiker.

Old pine is pretty overgrown. The Mt. Wittenberg trail was really nice, I also really enjoyed the Sky trail. Fog burned off around 9am. Check for ticks!

This hike is basically a steady hike up and down a fire road, and mostly tree protected. It is a little boring as far as the terrain and scenery. Extend the hike by turning left at the beach and walking a mile to Alamere falls.

Nice hike, exposed more than I like. Pretty easy, only challenging part for me was climbing the rocky hill towards the end.

14 mile hike with only moderate incline/decline for a third of the trail. Starts off on a fire road along a stream surrounded by ferns, then follows along coastal cliffs with two opportunities to go down to the beach (one has a waterfall), then climbs 1000 ft or so giving great views of Bodega Bay before dropping back down to Bear Valley trail 0.8 miles from the end of the hike.

hiking
Thu Jun 23 2016

Great long loop with the payoff of Alamere Falls. If you want a good hard day-hike try this 15-16 mile loop

Nice easy hike. Be careful when the tide is coming in you can find yourself in a dangerous situation really fast. Have an alternate route to get off of the beach just in case the way you came is no longer accessible.

Nice scenic 5 mile hike one way. Bring plenty of water as there is none on the trail. Lock up your food in the animal boxes provided at camp because the Raccoon's are very aggressive! Nice mountain to climb nearby to take in the whole Pt. Reyes coastline.

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