Point Reyes National Seashore contains unique elements of biological and historicalinterest in a spectacularly scenic panorama of thunderous ocean breakers, open grasslands, bushy hillsides and forested ridges. Native land mammals number about 37 species and marine mammals augment this total by another dozen species. The biological diversity stems from a favorable location in the middle of California and the natural occurrence of many distinct habitats. Nearly 20% of the State's flowering plant species are represented on the peninsula and over 45% of the bird species in North America have been sighted. The Point Reyes National Seashore was established by President John F. Kennedy on September 13, 1962.
Basic Information for Point Reyes National
Operating Hours, Seasons
The park is open daily (with overnight camping available by permit only) from
sunrise to sunset throughout the year. Visitor center hours are as follows: Bear
Valley Visitor Center, weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekends and holidays
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Lighthouse Visitor Center, Thursday through Monday,
10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Lighthouse stairs and exhibits (weather permitting),
10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Lens Room open as weather & staffing permit, all Lighthouse facilities closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays; Ken Patrick Visitor Center, weekends and holidays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All visitor centers are closed December 25.
How to Get to Point Reyes National Seashore
Nearest Airport Point Reyes National Seashore - The closest major airports are San Francisco International and Oakland Airport.
How to Drive to Point Reyes National Seashore - Point
Reyes is located approximately 22 miles north of San Francisco on Highway
1 along the west coast of California. Travelers may approach the park
from the winding scenic Highway 1, either northbound or southbound. You
can also reach the park via Sir Francis Drake Boulevard or Point Reyes/Petaluma
Weather & Climate
Point Reyes Peninsula's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters.
The Visitor Centers are accessible to wheelchairs.
Camping at Point Reyes National Seashore
Backpacking Camps - General Information Open All Year Point Reyes offers backpackers four campgrounds to choose from. (There is no car camping at Point Reyes National Seashore.) Each campground has designated sites. The cost is $10/site/night for sites of up to 6 people, $20/site/night for group sites for 7-14 people, and $30/site/night for group sites for 15-25 people. A credit card is required for phone reservations. Payment is due at the time the reservation is made. There are no refunds given for weather, illness, etc. Once the payment has been made, the site is guaranteed for your stay. However, a permit must still be picked up before beginning your trip. Those arriving after the visitor center has closed (usually after 5 pm), should look for their permit in the after hours box on the information board in front of the building. Each campsite has a picnic table, food storage locker and a charcoal brazier. (Only charcoal may be burned in the grill, not wood.) Each campground has pit toilets and a water faucet. Water may need to be treated using iodine tablets, boiling for one minute or filtering with a commercial filter. Do not drink water from streams without treating.
Open All Year
Backpack or bicycle only. Coast Camp is nestled within a small coastal valley with easy access to the beach and tidepools. It includes one of the easiest hikes of all routes to Point Reyes campgrounds. The shortest hike to this camp is 1.8 miles. The beach is within easy access from the camp.
Open All Year
Backpack or bicycle only. Glen Camp is a quiet and secluded camp deep within the Douglas fir forest. The shortest hike to this camp is a moderate 5 miles. It is a 2.5 mile strenuous hike to the beach
Open All Year
Backpack or bicycle only. Sky Camp lies on the western slope of Mt. Wittenberg overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In clear weather, this area has wonderful ocean views. The shortest hike for this camp is 1.3 miles. It is a 4.5 mile moderately strenuous to hike to the beach.
Tomales Bay Boat-in Beach Camping
Open All Year
BOAT-IN CAMPING ONLY (no hiking). Boat-in camping is allowed on national seashore beaches on the west side of Tomales Bay, beginning north of Indian Beach. No human waste is permitted in the bay or onto park beaches so campers must bring portable facilities or limit camping to Marshall Beach or Tomales Beach, where pit toilets are available. There is no potable water available. There are seasonal closures on some beaches. Check with the seashore reservation office for updates. The cost is $10/site/night for sites of up to 6 people, $20/site/night for group sites for 7-14 people, and $30/site/night for group sites for 15-25 people. A credit card is required for phone reservations. Payment is due at the time the reservation is made. There are no refunds given for weather, illness, etc. Once the payment has been made, your site is guaranteed for your stay. However, a permit must still be picked up before beginning your trip. Those arriving after the visitor center has closed (usually after 5 pm), should look for their permit in the after hours box on the information board in front of the building.
Activities and More Information
on Point Reyes National Seashore
Trails may be used by hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Leisurely drives throughout the seashore to beaches and wildlife areas; such as the tule elk range or historic lighthouse. Picnicking at beaches and trailheads is also recommended. NOTE: Some restrictions apply to trail usage by bikers and horses, so please pick up free park maps with specific trails marked. Birdwatching is exceptional, especially during fall and spring migrations. The park beaches are also excellent places to view the annual gray whale migration, January through April.
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