From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches through its open grasslands to its brushy hillsides and forested ridges, visitors can discover over 1000 species of plants and animals. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, Point Reyes preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people. Point Reyes awaits your exploration.
Point Reyes National Seashore is home to wide diversity of wildlife. Nearly forty species of land mammals and at least a dozen species of marine mammals may be seen here. Birders scouring the Point Reyes peninsula have identified nearly half of the bird species found in North America. The park is home to one of the largest populations of tule elk and hosts a thriving breeding ground for the once nearly extinct elephant seal. Jutting 10 miles into the Pacific Ocean, Point Reyes offers one of the best spots for viewing the migrations of the California gray whale. Nearly of half the park has been designated as a Wilderness Area.
The Seashore has over 2 million annual visitors. However, one can escape the crowds on most days by venturing out on some of the 150 miles of hiking trails or 80 miles of coastline available.
Point Reyes National Seashore comprises over 100 square miles, including 33,300 acres of coastal wilderness area. Estuaries, windswept beaches, coastal scrub grasslands, salt and freshwater marshes, and coniferous forests create a haven of 80 miles of unspoiled and undeveloped coastline.
Abundant recreational opportunities include 150 miles of hiking trails, backcountry campgrounds, and numerous beaches. Kayaking, biking, hiking, beachcombing, and wildlife viewing are just a few of the self-guided activities awaiting your visit. Please check at a visitor center when you arrive at Point Reyes for the most recent information on trail closures or other important information you may need for your visit.
Outdoor volunteer activities include habitat restoration, monitoring harbor seals, helping out at Kule Loklo or the Morgan Horse Ranch, repairing trails, and educating visitors about elephant seals, snowy plovers and tule elk, amongst other opportunities.
The park is open daily from sunrise to midnight throughout the year. Overnight backcountry camping is available by permit only. All Visitor Centers are closed December 25. Visitor Centers may close at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Fees: No entrance fees. Fees for camping vary by size of group. Shuttle bus during the whale watching season operates on weekends and holidays from late December through March, weather dependent.
ADA Accessibility Notes
All of Point Reyes National Seashore’s Visitor Centers are accessible. Point Reyes also has numerous accessible paths to various points of interest listed below:
Bear Valley Visitor Center The visitor center is completely accessible with a gently ramped, multilevel interior. All displays are well placed for use or viewing from a seated position. Restrooms and a telephone on the outside information board are accessible. Designated parking is located in front of the center.
Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Parking close to the Lighthouse is available by arrangement. Call 415-669-1534 or 415-464-5100 x2 x5. The visitor center, observation deck, restrooms and a telephone are all fully accessible, but the lighthouse itself is not.
Ken Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach The complex includes a visitor center, cafe, picnic area, telephone, restrooms and showers which are all accessible. There are several designated parking spaces. There is no beach access.
Earthquake Trail This 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) round-trip paved trail is self-guiding. A picnic area, restroom and two designated parking spaces are located at the trail head.
Kule Loklo Coast Miwok Cultural Exhibit (Assistance required.) The first part of the 0.4 mile dirt trail to Kule Loklo is quite steep. There are no accessible restrooms. Inquire at Bear Valley Visitor Center for more information on accessing Kule Loklo.
Bear Valley Trail to Divide Meadow (Assistance advisable.) This gradual 1.6 mile well-packed dirt trail leads through Douglas Fir forests alongside a stream to a woodland meadow. There are a few uphill and somewhat rocky sections which are passable with assistance. Pit toilets at the meadow are not accessible.
Five Brooks Pond (Assistance advisable.) This 0.7 mile dirt loop trail around the pond is a lovely place to picnic or bird watch. There are no accessible restrooms.
Abbotts Lagoon A gentle, soil-cemented trail leads 400 meter (1/4 mile) to an overlook of the lagoon. Restrooms are accessible and there are two designated parking spaces. No beach access.
Historic Pierce Ranch A soil cement trail tours this 1880s dairy ranch. A telephone in the upper parking lot is accessible.
Limantour Beach A paved trail leads from the main parking to the beach. It turns south along a freshwater marsh, excellent for birdwatching. No beach access. Restrooms are not accessible. Telephone on Limantour Road before the parking lot is not accessible.
North and South Beach Each parking lot has an accessible restroom and designated parking. There are short paved paths along the dunes with lovely ocean views. There is no beach access.
Morgan Horse Ranch With a handicap-identification card, you may take the maintenance road to a small parking area close to the stables. Exhibit areas are accessible.
Mount Vision A fifteen minute drive up winding Mount Vision Road off Sir Francis Drake Highway takes you to three spectacular vista points (on clear days). Two viewpoints look west towards Drakes Bay and Estero and one near the top looks east over Tomales Bay. No facilities.
Pet Friendly Notes
Dogs and other pets are wonderful animals that give comfort and companionship. However, a national park is not the best place for them. Dogs chase, scare and can transmit diseases to wild animals such as nesting birds or marine mammals. Dogs leave behind a “predator” scent typical of all wild canines like wolves and coyotes. This scent can linger in the area for long periods of time and can disrupt or alter the behavior of the native animals this park has been set aside to protect.
If you bring a dog, or any other pet, to the park, please observe the following regulations:
– Pets must be on a leash at all times; the leash must be no longer than 6 feet. – All trails within the park are closed to pets – with the exception of Kehoe Beach trail and designated trails in the neighboring Golden Gate National Recreation Area. – Pets are allowed on the following ocean-facing beaches: – Kehoe Beach – north of the Kehoe Beach trail – Limantour Beach – southeast of the parking lot to the beach adjacent to Coast Camp – Point Reyes/Great Beach – from the North Beach parking lot to the south (Due to threatened snowy plover habitat, pets are not allowed on the beach south of the trail at Kehoe Beach or on the beach to the north of the North Beach parking lot). (During the elephant seal pupping and mating season (December through April), pets and humans are not allowed on the beach south of the South Beach parking lot).
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