Mt Wittenberg via the Meadow Trail, Point Reyes: Bear Valley Trailhead, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California
Mt Wittenberg via the Meadow Trail - 6.1 miles
Point Reyes: Bear Valley Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||6.1 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||125' - 1,407' (1,407' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+1,282' net elevation gain (+1,349' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Mt Wittenberg via the Meadow Trail - 6.1 Miles Round-Trip
Mt Wittenberg (1,407') is located along Inverness Ridge, a topographical demarcation between coastal and inland facing slopes that influences local weather patterns and plant compositions on the Point Reyes Peninsula.
There are several ways to reach it, each steep and biologically diverse. Fir, oak, bay, laurel, ferns and bramble comprise the forest below this relatively open summit. Visitors will enjoy panoramas across Drakes Bay, Olema Valley and miles of coast from Point Reyes' highest point:
The following route begins at Bear Valley Visitor Center and follows the Bear Valley Trail and Meadow Trail to the summit:
The Bear Valley Trail rises through grassy meadow past the first Mt Wittenberg Trail split (.2 miles) to the Meadow Trail (.8 miles : 185'). The Meadow Trail splits right and steepens for .6 miles through a dense understory with limited visibility.
It levels and opens to a meadow (1.4 miles : 711'), a brief reprieve with the potential for sunlight and wildlife. Enjoy aromatic woodland herbs in this area.
The trail rises .3 miles through the meadow before climbing steeply away into the forest (1.7 miles : 828'). Travel eases again along a steep, south-facing slope covered in fir and ferns. The forest gradually thins leading to the Sky Trail - Wittenberg Summit Trail split (2.3 miles : 1,115'); bear right for a steep push up the Wittenberg Summit Trail.
The Wittenberg Summit Trail emerges in open slopes with expanding views across Inverness Ridge and the coast. It bisects the Z Ranch Trail and main Wittenberg Trail junction at 2.7 miles (1,230').
Though signs are oddly positioned, intuitively head uphill. The trail soon levels and curls about the rounded summit of Mt Wittenberg (3.05 miles : 1,407').
Surprisingly, the precise location of Mt Wittenberg's summit is difficult to pinpoint. The trail simply fades out in tall grass, though many social and game trails extend in every direction. Fog can certainly obscure your location in this undefined space - keep track of how you came.
- N38 02.375 W122 47.986 — 0.0 miles : Bear Valley Trailhead
- N38 02.191 W122 48.011 — .2 miles : Mt Wittenberg Trail junction
- N38 01.733 W122 48.168 — .8 miles : Meadow Trail junction - turn right
- N38 01.799 W122 48.712 — 1.4 miles : Travel through meadow
- N38 02.019 W122 49.599 — 2.3 miles : Wittenberg Summit Trail junction- bear right
- N38 02.243 W122 49.427 — 2.7 miles : Pass thru Z Ranch Trail junction to summit
- N38 02.326 W122 49.366 — 3.05 miles : Mt Wittenberg summit
- Deer, quail, fox and rabbit are common along the Mt Wittenberg and Meadow Trails.
- Mt Wittenberg is named after former owners of the Z Ranch, for which that trail is named.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is by permit only. Camping permits must be obtained from the Bear Valley Visitor Center before starting your trip. If you have made a reservation and are arriving after 5 p.m., a permit will be left for you in a small wooden box on the back side of the information board outside the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
- Campsites may be reserved up to three months in advance. To obtain a reservation, call 415.663.8054 between 9 am and 2 pm, Monday - Friday. Reservations by phone are not accepted at any other time. You may make reservations in person 7 days a week at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. You may also fax your reservation using our fax form and fax number: 415.464.5149.
- Wood fires are prohibited in hike-in campgrounds. Only gas stoves, charcoal or canned heat may be used for cooking. Downed wood may not be gathered and burned.
- Camping is limited to 4 nights per visit, with a maximum of 30 nights per year.
- The minimum age of any camper is 18 unless accompanied by an adult.
- Pets are not permitted in campgrounds. The maximum number of horses or pack animals in any campground is eight. Pack animals and horses must be tied to hitch rails.
Wildcat Camp - Campground Information
- Wildcat Camp is located in a coastal meadow between bluffs and the ocean It's located 5.65 miles from the Palomarin Trailhead, 7.8 miles from the Bear Valley Trailhead, and 6.7 miles from Five Brooks Trailhead.
- There are 5 individual sites and 3 group sites; three of the individual sites only hold up to four people. Each individual site has a picnic table, food storage locker and charcoal grill. Group sites have two picnic tables, two food storage lockers and one large or two regular charcoal grills.
Glen Camp - Campground Information
- Glen Camp is tucked in a quiet wooded valley, 4.6 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center via the Bear Valley Trail and Glen Trail. To access via bicycle, start at the Five Brooks Trailhead and follow the Stewart Trail to the Glen Trail, then north to the Glen Camp Loop. This is 6.3 mile bike ride. No groups, horses, or pack animals are allowed at Glen Camp. There are 12 individual sites at Glen Camp.
Sky Camp - Campground Information
- Sky Camp is located on the west side of Mt. Wittenberg in open rolling meadows, 1.4 miles from the Sky Trailhead on Limantour Road. The site is located at 1,025'. On clear days it provides sweeping panoramas across Drakes Bay. Sky Camp has 11 individual sites and 1 group site.
Coast Camp - Campground Information
- Coast Camp is located in a small coastal valley with easy access to Santa Maria Beach. The shortest route begins from the Laguna Trailhead, and travels 1.8 miles on the Laguna and Firelane Trails. It's also accessible from the Coast Trailhead for a longer but easier 2.7 mile route that's also open to bikes.
- Coast Camp is located approximately 9.5 miles from the Bear Valley Visitor Center via the Bear Valley and Coast Trails. 12 individual sites and two group sites are available. Sites 1-7 are in a semi-protected canyon.
Rules and Regulations
- Horses are not permitted between the Wittenberg and Baldy junctions on holidays and weekends.
Directions to Trailhead
The Bear Valley Trailhead is located at the southwest end of the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
From Highway 1, take Bear Valley Road west about 1/2 mile. Look for a big red barn on the left and a sign for Seashore information on the right. Turn left past the red barn and follow signs to the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Continue through the main parking lot to the far end and Bear Valley Trailhead parking area.
Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Rd.
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Visitor Information: 415.464.5100 x2 or 415.663.8522 x2
Headquarters: 415.464.5100 x 1
Volunteer Information: 415.464.5145
Education Programs: 415.464.5139
Special Use Permits: 415.464.5111