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 »
2014 Winter Shuttle Bus Operations Have Ended
March 30, 2014, was the last day for the 2014 Winter Shuttle Bus System. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is open daily from now through late December 2014. 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 »
Park Wavelengths - January 2013
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Reminder: Even on relatively calm days, large sneaker waves can strike without warning. Sneaker waves surge high up on the dry sand with enough force to knock you down and drag you into the ocean--serious injury or death can occur from the combination of numbing cold water, turbulent surf and rip currents. Don't turn your back on the ocean! For more information, visit our Beaches page.
The new moon rises on Friday, January 11 over extreme high tides of 7.1 feet at 9:36 am easing down to 6.9 feet at 10:27 am on Saturday, January 13. Limantour and the Great Beaches remain accessible during these high tides, but Drakes will have limited access around the cliffs. If a storm surge occurs, elephant seals often surf up onto the beach near the visitor center at Drakes Beach to rest in the ice plant!
Northern elephant seals are napping, breeding, and pupping on the outer beaches! The latest count is 535 total seals including 58 pups! The easiest place to see the newborns--24 are on the beach--is below the Chimney Rock Overlook.
An unusual geological formation may be seen by walking down the south side of Drakes Beach--"a huge organic-looking ring of carbonate concretions" (thank you Frank Binney, Seal Docent!). Created by ancient methane gas rising through ocean sediments, it has been exposed by the annual winter process of sand being removed from the beaches.
Limantour Road and McClures Beach Trail have reopened with temporary repairs made in both locations.
All park visitor centers will be open for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Monday, January 21. Shuttles to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas will operate if the weather is clear.
Note: we have converted to a new type of email; we hope there are no difficulties translating addresses and text!
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Forwarded to Park Wavelengths
Did You Know?
The Point Reyes Lighthouse was completed in 1870, 16 years after Congress initially appropriated funds for its construction. It still stands in its original location, having weathered over 140 years at what is considered to be the windiest, foggiest location on the US west coast. More...