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Major Park Improvements at Point Reyes National Seashore For the Busy Summer Season

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Date: August 6, 1999
Contact: John Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135

Park Superintendent Don Neubacher announced today that park staff has recently made numerous improvements to visitor facilities and services. The reopening of several major trails, and numerous improvements to backcountry campgrounds were recently completed. These improvements are just in time for the busy summer season at the Seashore, which receives over 2.5 million visitors per year.

After the severe winter storms of the last two years, numerous trails at Point Reyes National Seashore were closed due to severe erosion and slides. During these storms, Point Reyes National Seashore sustained winds up to 82 mph at the Point Reyes Headlands and the park received over 6 inches of rain in one 12-hour period. Many trails were reopened within a few months but others remained closed due to the complexity of the work involved to reopen these trails, until this month. The National Park Service has augmented its trail crew and has just opened three major trails that had suffered extensive damage. They include:

Olema Valley Trail. This trail was closed from McCurdy Trail to Randall Trail due to two failed culverts that undermined the trail and made it impassable. These two culverts were reinstalled. This trail runs parallel to Hwy 1 in the Olema Valley adjacent to Pine Gulch Creek.

Rift Zone Trail. This trail was closed due to culvert failure but is now passable. Bridge construction is planned for the fall of this year. Rift Zone Trail connects the Bear Valley Trailhead to Fivebrooks Trailhead. This is a very popular stretch with horseback riders as well as hikers, going through open grassland and mixed evergreen forest.

Fire Lane Trail. The stretch from Laguna Trail to Coast Trail has been closed due to a huge slide and 3-4 foot ruts. The sections of trail where the ruts were located are now filled and passable. This stretch of trail is very popular with backpackers hiking to Coast Campground, one of four backcountry campsites at the Seashore.

Teixeira Trail has been closed since 1988 due to erosion and unsafe trial conditions. One mile of reroutes were installed with the National Park Service trail crew to remove the steep slope of trail tread. 1.8 miles southern end of Seashore.

Other trails that are being worked on and will be opened later this fall include:

Estero Trail which is planned to be open in September; Horse Trail bridge in August; Rift Zone Trail bridge in September; Coast Trail reroute at Palomarin (open to people but not to horse) in October; and Old Out Road Trail (bottom 1/4 mile has many steep ruts) in October.

Another significant improvement made during the past several months throughout the Seashore is the installation of 16 new vault toilets placed at numerous trailheads and new food storage lockers, vault toilets, and picnic tables have been installed within all four backcountry campgrounds. Additionally, the water systems at the campgrounds have also been improved.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Fog-filled valley with yellow twilight glow over a ridge in the background. © John B. Weller.

The rich, lush environment of Point Reyes heavily depends on the fog. During rainless summers, fog can account for 1/3 of the ecosystem's water input. But recent studies have indicated that there has been about a 30 percent reduction in fog during the last 100 years here in coastal California. More...