Morgan Horse Ranch

Mission & Vision

The mission of the Point Reyes Morgan Horse Ranch at Point Reyes National Seashore is to preserve the history of the Ranch and its original intent, to educate the visitors about the Ranch and the Morgan Horse breed, to patrol the Seashore, and to provide community outreach. The herd is critical to the preservation of cultural and natural park resources as the horses help Park Rangers patrol the backcountry and beaches without disturbing the natural beauty of the Seashore.

Honcho, Mira, Knight Hawk, Gentry, and Moon provide a great opportunity for visitor engagement, particularly with youth. They also serve as a bridge for park law enforcement officers to have positive interactions with the public, which in turn builds trust.

Ranch History

The ranch was established in 1970 as a breeding program to support interpretation and mounted patrol in National Parks across the country. During its peak years, more than 75 foals were born at the ranch, which sustained 30-40 Morgan horses at one time. The Morgan breed was one of the first used by the U.S. Army Cavalry, the first Park Rangers and continues to be sought after for its versatility and kind temperament.

In 1999, the last filly, Los Reyes Liberty Rose, was born at the ranch and the need for additional horses at other National Parks dwindled, largely due to lack of funds. At Point Reyes, the Morgan horses continue to play an important conservation and visitor service role. “We can reach an injured or lost hiker in a difficult-to-access location in the 70,000-acre park, and we can assist with search and rescue missions,” says Lead Ranger Julie Byerly. Fellow Ranger Bonnie Phillips adds, “We want to keep the Morgan Horse Ranch a vibrant place where people are eager to visit. Horses encourage inclusivity and they help us foster positive interactions to build community trust.”

Morgan Horse Fund

After over 50 years of service the Morgan Horse Ranch remains an active and integral part of Point Reyes National Seashore, thanks in part to your participation and contributions! Last year, PRNSA members helped raise more than $42,000 to fund the Ranch Revitalization Project and the addition of two new Morgans to the herd — Knight Hawk and Gentry.

With a growing Morgan herd, the ranch needs your help in maintaining and caring for these beautiful horses. Each year it costs a little over $26,000 to sustain a herd of five — this includes the cost of shoeing, feed, vet bills, and more. If you would like to help support the Morgans, a gift of any amount to the Morgan Horse Fund would be greatly appreciated.

Map of Bear Valley area at Point Reyes National Seashore

Visiting the Ranch

The Morgan Horse Ranch is open to the public seven days a week with staff and volunteers usually present from 9am to 4pm. Interpretive exhibits in the ranch buildings and outside provide information about the history of the Morgan horse, the ranch, and how the horses were trained.

The Ranch is located on a small hill to the southwest of the Bear Valley Visitor Center. To visit, walk up the maintenance road located at the southeastern end of the Bear Valley Trailhead parking lot.

Directions to Bear Valley | Map of the Bear Valley Area