On the Trail: Point Reyes, California

(Photo Gallery) Point Reyes National Park has a lot of horse-friendly trails, though some are better ridden on weekdays, and some are even closed to horses on weekends.  That is just as well, as the trails are frequented by mountain bikes and hikers on weekends. On weekdays, though, it is very quiet. I have been out there three times this winter and encountered only a few hikers and no bikes.

There are a few places to enter the park. On this late January day, my friend and I used the Bear Valley parking lot. The road to Bear Valley is a bit windy but not terribly steep and the parking area is very easy to get in and out of. It is far enough from the road to feel quite secure for your tied horses. There is a public water trough and a public bathroom by the parking area. The trail names and distances are well marked, but you might need a map or a guide to know which trail to follow. Some of the trails are wide fire roads, some are single-track.

The mountains provide for some steep climbs. Meadow Trail is deceptively named. It is quite steep and woodsy. There are also routes you can take if you want to stay on the flat. The mountains tend to minimize wind. Even if the coastal location (you can get to the beach if you are up for a lengthy ride with a couple of long climbs) can be a little grey, at least it isn’t windy. Here are some photos from a foggy day out:

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