• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Park Wavelengths

Park Wavelengths is a bi-weekly email informing subscribers about events, closures, natural history, and cultural history at Point Reyes. If you would like to subscribe to Park Wavelengths, please email us. Please include "Would like to subscribe to Park Wavelengths" in the subject field and include your email address in the message. Or...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The approach of the new moon on Tuesday, January 20 continues a pattern of very high tides ranging from 6.7 feet in the mid-morning on Sunday, January 18 at 8:20 am to a peak of 6.9 feet on Tuesday at 10 am. The very low tides are just after dark in the evening.

Winter wildlife has literally roared in with the high tides. Northern elephant seals are jostling for positions in the colonies, and pups are being born. South-bound whales are on the move past the Lighthouse, with steady sightings throughout the weekends.

Good news from the trail crew; 90% of trails are passable to horses/hikers/cleared of trees after winter storms. Last to clear is a report on the Olema Valley Trail near Randall Spur. [Reports of trees blocking the Lake Ranch Trail, the Fire Lane Trail (between the Sky Trail and Laguna Trail), and the Coast Trail (near Bass Lake) were received on Wednesday, January 14 after the Park Wavelengths was emailed to subscribers. Visit our Trail Guide & Suggested Hikes page for the latest information on Trail Closures.- Ed.]

New artwork on display through February at the Bear Valley Visitor Center is color nature photographs from Daniel Dietrich.

Park visitor centers will be open the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday weekend. If the weather is clear shuttles will operate through the three day weekend.

A new stop sign! It is on Sir Francis Drake Highway, west of the Estero Trailhead turnoff. Road conditions are dangerous [large pothole] and eastbound vehicles must move in to the westbound lane, so watch for it [the stop sign] if you are checking out the Lighthouse.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers

Date: Monday, December 29, 2014
Subject: Rift Zone Trail closure

The Visitor Center just received a call from Max at the County Parks Department notifying us that they are closing the Rift Zone Trail near the third horse gate south of the Vedanta access road due to a large limb dangling from a tree. They expect the limb will break off during tomorrow's [Tuesday, December 30, 2014] wind storm. If the limb doesn't fall, the County will remove it in the very near future.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2014

The new moon and the winter solstice both occur on December 21. The winter solstice occurs on the shortest day and longest night of the year, when the sun's daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest. The dark night sky as a result of the new moon offers glimpses of the Ursid meteor shower (only 5–10 per hour), which will add a little extra glitter to the holiday skies!

Northern elephant seals are returning to park beaches around the Headlands, and the first pup has been born in the main colony. Typically, the height of activity at the "north” Drakes Beach colony, which may be seen from the Chimney Rock area, occurs in February. Over the past weekend, a dozen gray whales made their way past the Lighthouse, heading towards the warmth of southern waters.

Park visitor centers are closed on Thursday, December 25. Rangers are on duty elsewhere in the park, and trails and roads are open.

All roads in the park are open, but many trails are blocked to horses by downed trees. The Horse Trail, Mt. Wittenberg Trail, Olema Valley Trail, and Stewart Trail are reported blocked at this time. Hikers are able to pick their way through/around the downed trees, but watch for poison oak and use caution. Clearing is ongoing between rain showers. Be sure to check in at the park website and visitor centers for up to date information. Conditions can change rapidly.

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Tottori University drift transponder.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Researchers from Tottori University in Japan are tracking tsunami debris by releasing brightly colored drift bottles (see photo to the right). If you come across one on local beaches, please follow instructions on how to contact the researchers.


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