out at a very gradual slope through the dappled shade
of alder trees and along the streamside to the ocean.
For the entire length of you walk, you will have the company
of the burbling creak.
- Water fountain
- Wheelchair accessible
- Picnic tables
- Good site for drawing and painting
- 0.6 mile loop
DIRECTIONS: Head south on Highway
#1 from Point Reyes Station. Take an immediate right
after the green bridge. Follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
to the first left onto Bear Valley Road (watch for on-coming
traffic around the blind curve.) Take a right at the
sign for the Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters
and Bear Valley Visitor Center. Park at the end of the
road in the large lot on the left. The Earthquake Trail
takes off behind the restroom building. Trailhead about
2 miles from Point Reyes Station.
The Earthquake Trail has interpretive
stations to orient the visitor to the surrounding geology,
landscape and, of course, the San Andreas Fault Line
- famous for the 1906 earthquake that shook San Francisco.
The trail leads through the grassland toward Bear Valley
Creek. It parallels the creek for some distance then
crosses again and heads back to the picnic area. In
the spring the wild flowers are beautiful. The canopy
of oak and bay has a wonderful fragrance in the warm,
rainy months. Deer often browse in the meadow, which
is a great place for flying kites.
This trail is a good one to combine
with a trip to the Bear Valley Visitor Center across
the road, and a picnic in the Douglas fir grove. Here
you can watch the colony of acorn woodpeckers work at
storing acorns in the bark of the trees as they hop
up and down the trunks with their heads bobbing.
- Carry water
- No restrooms
- Carry binoculars
- Good views across Tomales Bay from
- 3.0 mile loop
DIRECTIONS: From the town of
Point Reyes Station head south on Highway #1. Take an
immediate right onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard after
the green bridge. Follow Sir Francis Drake through Inverness
and over the hill. Bear right at the "Y" onto
Pierce Point Ranch Road. Watch for the sign for the
Johnstone Trail and small parking area on the right.
Trailhead about 10 miles from Point Reyes Station.
This last trail is steep. It is distinguished
by a series of thoughtfully placed clearings with benches
in the woods that offer lovely views of Tomales Bay
and the hills beyond. Follow the Jepson Trail through
the woods leading down half a mile to the Jepson Memorial
Grove. The grove is a stand of the ancient bishop pine,
stately and gnarled. The undergrowth in these woods
is especially varied and interesting: salal, huckleberry,
sword fern, blue elderberry, chain ferns, sea foam,
pink flowering currant, wild gooseberry, hazelnut, toyon,
coffeeberry, wild ginger, indian cucumber and, of course,
poison oak. Mushrooms pop up everywhere during the warm
rainy months. The trail is a switchback that is good
for pacing yourself and not too steep.
A half-mile past the grove, the trail
comes to Hearts Desire Beach. You can go back
up the trail the way you came from your car, or you
can walk south down the beach and pick up the Johnstone
Trail. Just a short ways up on a promontory overlooking
the bay is a small picnic area with barbecues under
the oaks. Continuing on, the trail winds up through
the woods and back to the trailhead at Sir Francis Drake