Bear Valley Visitor Center

Bear Valley Visitor Center
Bear Valley Visitor Center, Point Reyes

In the Rift Zone: Bear Valley Visitor Center

The Bear Valley Visitor Center of the Point Reyes National Seashore park is located in a rift zone that separates Point Reyes on the Pacific Plate from mainplate California on the North American Plate. Here, the San Andreas Fault cuts through the Californian landscape between Tomales Bay and the Bolinas Lagoon. The Earthquake Trail, Rift Zone Trail, Bear Valley Trail, Woodpecker Trail, Morgan Trail and Kule Loklo Trail have their trailheads next to the parking spaces at the visitor center. Inside this barn-style building, you'll find educational exhibits, a book & gift store and an information desk. The exhibits feature various aspects of the human and natural history of Point Reyes. Visitors taking their time to study the exhibit sections will admire the excellent displays and detailed descriptions. During my visit in September 2015, I found an original display of nudibranchs—soft-bodied mollusks without shells in their adult stage—by Celeste Woo, who knit, crochet, felt and sew sea slugs using wool, silk and cotton thread. Not made to scale, the larger-than-adult-size textile animals beautifully illustrate the amazing shape and color variety of nudibranch species. Bright and flamboyant nudity, indeed. Some of them thrive and glitter in the maritime environments off the beaches and shorelines of Point Reyes.

In addition to the inland Bear Valley Center, Point Reyes National Seashore includes the coastal Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and the popular Lighthouse Visitor Center.
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