A long pending task to hike the Bear Valley Trail with my son was finally fulfilled over the last weekend. Traffic in San Francisco and road construction on Sir Francis Drake Blvd greatly slowed our journey to Point Reyes. We were at the trail head by 1 in the afternoon, after collecting the map and buying a small souvenir, we started out hike along 4.5 miles long Bear Valley Trail. Despite scorching sun, the hike was pleasant due to profuse canopy all along the trail and the sound of the flowing brook was very soothing. We stopped over for a picnic lunch at Divide Meadows under the shade of a big tree. Divide Meadows has a restroom and couple of trails start from there, however there is no source of water. After lunch we continued our hike to Arch Rock, which took us about an hour and a half with Chinthan hiking at times and maneuvering the stroller along the narrow trail in the last stretch.
The feeling that one usually gets when they reach Arch Rock, after 4.5 miles of hike is a complete awe and ours was no different. A high rise rock overlooking the mighty blue Pacific, with warm sun and cool breeze, Arch Rock definitely offers a beautiful panoramic treat to the eyes. My wife and I took turns to get down the Arch Rock to actually see the arch and the beach. We had to cross a small rivulet to get to the arch and eventually to beach. To cross the arch one has to wait for the waves to recede and run across, else it may get dangerous. The beach in Arch Rock is a bit rough and abyssal, you hardly see too many people entering the beach unlike Stinson or Santa Cruz. Chinthan enjoyed seeing gophers just popping out of their burrows on the Arch Rock. We started our return hike which was faster than onward.
After a short stop at Bolinas lagoon for few clicks, we got stuck badly in the traffic before we could reach Stinson beach. It was golden hour when we reached Stinson beach and the beach just looked lovely basking in the golden sunlight with the backdrop of misty mountains. It was a bit less crowded since it was already late, Chinthan had ball time kick off the waves. I didn't bathe in the beach for I would have missed the golden hour, I kept clicking. We spent about half hour in the beach before we started our drive back home among the foggy, winding CA1.
Photographs from the previous hike in Point Reyes is here.