Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,736.00 ft (529.13 m)
Trail type
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike up to Mount Wittenberg in Point Reyes National Seashore might not be considered short and sweet, but it sure is steep and sweet. It will take visitors to the top of the tallest peak of Point Reyes National Seashore and it’s the perfect choice for visitors who don’t want to spend too much time out on the trails. Hikers can reward themselves with some nice climbs, as this route doesn’t waste any time on the flats and charges right up into the hills.

From Bear Valley, head out on Morgan Trail. It will take you past the Morgan Ranch, which is worth a short stop. The barn is open to visitors and offers several information signs that describe the workings of the ranch, both in the past and now. Red-winged blackbirds like to hang around there, too.

Follow the trail past the ranch. There will be tall trees on your left. Deer that sometimes take advantage of unattended hay like to hide in the wood, and a bobcat frequents the area in the early mornings.

After roughly half a mile, stay on Morgan Trail by continuing straight through a trail crossing. Shortly after, take a left onto Horse Trail and enjoy the roughly 1.5 mile long continuous climb through the green forest. Depending on the time of the year, you will see a wide variety of flora.

When the hill levels off slightly, take a left onto Z Ranch Trail, at around 2.5 miles. Follow the trail until you reach a little saddle with a meadow. Five different trails meet up there; make a sharp left turn and follow the one leading up to Mt Wittenberg.

On this last small quarter-mile climb, you’ll pass through a grove of older trees, the trail turned rusty brown from the layers of needles. You’ll find yourself surrounded by shade and silence.

There used to be grand views from Mt Wittenberg. Nowadays, trees took over most of the scenery but walking around, you can still catch glimpses of the landscape. Mt Wittenberg is also one of the quietest places so close to the popular Bear Valley trailhead, so enjoy the solitude.

There are conspicuous flat rocks strewn around on the top. You can make music on these rocks by tapping them gently with smaller rocks.

Once you’ve had your fill of silence and solitude, head back down to the five-trail crossing. You can take an immediate left turn onto Mt Wittenberg Trail or add an extra half a mile on by turning right on Mt Wittenberg trail, following it for half a mile, and then taking left on Meadow Trail.

Meadow Trail offers slightly gentler descent and will lead you through another small, peaceful meadow.

Whichever trail you decide to take, pay attention to the exposed roots, especially when it rains, as they like to be very slippery.

When you reach the bottom of either of these trails turn left onto Bear Valley Trail and follow it back to the trailhead.

If you plan to do this route on a horseback, please keep in mind that some of these trails are closed to equestrian traffic on the weekends and plan accordingly. Mount Wittenberg Trail is, as of January 2022, closed to horse traffic indefinitely, as it's unstable due to the recent fires. An alternate route (Meadow Trail) back down might be needed.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Mostly shaded. Not too busy.


Long initial climb.

Trailhead Elevation

113.00 ft (34.44 m)

Highest point

1,431.00 ft (436.17 m)


Flushing toilets

Typically multi-day


Suitable for


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore


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