This guide starts at the Bear Valley Visitor Center near Olema, CA. This is a large area with car parking, horse trailer parking, water trough, hitching racks, picnic areas, restrooms. The visitor center has a very nice interpretive center where you can get free maps and information. You can also visit the Morgan Horse training stable behind the center where the horses are trained for the Natl. Park Service.
Note: Bear Valley Trail is closed to equestrians weekends and holidays.
Start out on Bear Valley Trail at the end of the parking lot. This beautiful trail is a fairly flat fire road that follows the creek out to the coast. It is lined with ferns and oak and bay trees. About half way to the coast you can take a break at Divide Meadow. The last portion of the trail is closed to bicycles but a bike rack is provided at the intersection. If hiking or horseback riding continue on Bear Valley to the end at Arch Rock. (Equestrians are no longer allowed at at the very end at Arch Rock.)
About 1/4 mile from Arch Rock is the intersection with Coast Trail. Take Coast and enjoy the beautiful views of the coast (if it's not foggy :). Watch for seals, and at certain times of the year you may even see a whale!
At the intersection with Sky Trail head up the hill. This is a narrow gauge trail that winds up the hill through the trees and ferns and overlooks the valley. At the top of the trail is Sky Camp with picnic tables, restrooms, and hitching racks. Look for a water trough down off to the side of the trail (look for the small sign).
Continue on Sky to the intersection with Horse Trail. Go right onto Horse Trail and begin a gradual descent down the hill. At the bottom, cross the bridge and turn right onto Morgan Trail. Follow Morgan trail behind the Morgan Ranch and back to the parking lot.
Be sure to bring drinking water and dress in layers. The weather can change quickly on the coast. If foggy it can be very damp, especially on Sky Trail.
On horseback this trip is about 5 hours with a lunch break.
Pets are allowed in the Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot and picnic area but dogs are not allowed on any trail.
If you want a shorter trip, from Divide Meadow take Old Pine Trail (starts next to the restroom) up to Sky Trail, turn right and continue as above.