Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive at the park. Clicking on the question will take you to that question's answer.
1. How long does it take to get to the Lighthouse?
4. Where are dogs allowed in the park?
5. When is the best time to see whales?
7. Is there camping in the park?
8. Where can I see the tule elk?
9. What time does the park close?
The park does not have an official closing time. However, all beach fires must be out by midnight and there is no overnight parking without a backcountry permit. Sleeping in parked vehicles is strictly prohibited within park boundaries.
10. Can I have a fire in the park?
13. Where are good areas for birdwatching?
Drakes and Limantour Esteros, Abbotts Lagoon, Five Brooks Pond, and the Lighthouse area are all good places to view birds. Visit our Bird Watching page for more information.
Please note: employee housing as well as park administrative, maintenance, operations, and storage facilities, including, but not limited, to access roads, outbuildings, grounds, and docks, are closed to public use.
14. Can I fish at Point Reyes?
For more information, visit our Fishing at Point Reyes page.
15. My fiance and I wish to get married at Point Reyes. Do we need to get any permits?
Special use permits are required for all weddings and any other event or activity that would involve more than 100 people. For more information or to obtain a permit, contact the park's Special Use Coordinator at 415-464-5111.
16. Can I use a metal detector at Point Reyes?
Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 2.1 (a) (7) prohibits the use or possession of metal detectors, magnetometers, and similar equipment within the jurisdiction of national park lands. However, such devices may be transported through park areas provided they are broken down, dismantled, and cased in such a way that prevents their ready use.
The hobby of metal detecting is generally considered to be "treasure hunting". Even if the user is searching for items of relatively low value, such as recently issued coins or the like, there is great potential loss of items with significant historical or cultural value. The National Park Service is mandated to protect historic features and artifacts for the enjoyment of future generations. Therefore, the use of metal detectors within park areas is considered to be incompatible with the mission of the Service.
17. What time does the movie/slide show start? (at Bear Valley Visitor Center)
Audio-visual programs are shown upon request anytime the Bear Valley Visitor Center is open. We have six different audio-visual presentations:
17. "I hit an animal while driving. What should I do?" or "I found a roadkilled animal. What should I do?"
Please contact park dispatch at 415-464-5170 if you hit an animal while driving within the National Seashore and there is significant damage to your vehicle, or if you see a recently roadkilled animal that is creating a road hazard on a park roadway. You can also help increase researchers' understanding of the extent of roadkill and help develop innovative ideas for reducing roadkill by reporting the roadkill to the California Roadkill Observation System.
Did You Know?
Four species of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) rest onshore or breed at Point Reyes: the Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus). More...