Point Reyes Headlands Winter Shuttle Bus System
On weekends & holidays, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is closed beyond the South Beach Road junction from 9 am to 5:30 pm during favorable weather conditions. Bus service to the Lighthouse & Chimney Rock is provided from Drakes Beach. More »
2014 Harbor Seal Pupping Season Closures
From March 1 through June 30, the park implements closures of certain Tomales Bay beaches and Drakes Estero to water-based recreation to protect harbor seals during the pupping season. Please avoid disturbing seals to ensure a successful pupping season. More »
Operational Changes Took Effect on May 1, 2013
The Lighthouse Visitor Center is now only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays, including Thanksgiving. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open on weekends and holidays when shuttles are operating. More »
Join Other Wildlife and Outdoor Enthusiasts in the 2005 Elephant Seal Docent Program!
Contact: Steve Anastasia, 415-464-5147
Elephant seals are returning to Point Reyes National Seashore. As part of the Elephant Seal Docent Program, volunteers are needed to protect the seals and educate the public. Volunteers are required to attend a free 2-day training and agree to work 2 weekend or holiday days each month, January through March. The two-day training will be held at Point Reyes National Seashore on December 4th and 5th, 2004 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Training topics will include marine mammal natural history, new discoveries through research and marine ecosystems around Point Reyes National Seashore.
For inquiries, please call Steve Anastasia at 415-464-5147.
Weighing up to 5,000 pounds, elephant seals are amazing marine mammals. They spend the majority of lives at sea diving up to a mile deep as they forage. The seals return to land for only a few months in the winter for birthing and breeding and again in the summer when molting. During their time on land, elephant seals do not eat for up to 3 months and instead rely on their stored fat for energy.
The first pair of breeding elephant seals returned to Point Reyes in the late 1970’s after over 100 years of absence. The animals for this “new” Point Reyes colony are believed to come from the nearby Año Nuevo and the Farallon Island rookeries.
Currently, the number of elephant seals at Point Reyes National Seashore has topped over 1,700 animals. The seals can be found at the Headlands of the Point Reyes between December and late March during the pupping and breeding season, and in the summer months for molting. Their increasing numbers and the creation of satellite colonies on other beaches in the National Seashore has made visitor education a priority with the Elephant Seal Docent Program. Take this opportunity to become an active steward of Point Reyes National Seashore and the wildlife it protects.
Did You Know?
Marine biologists have identified nearly a third of all known marine mammal species in the waters surrounding Point Reyes. Blue whales and humpback whales feed here during spring and summer months. Gray whales migrate past our shores twice a year on their round trip from Alaska to Baja. More...