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 »
Horse Riding at Point Reyes National Seashore
Horses and other pack animals are permitted on most established trails and beaches at Point Reyes National Seashore. They may not travel off trail because conditions are not maintained for their safety, and their presence can negatively impact the environment. You can download maps indicating which trails are designated for horse travel or stop by one of the park's Visitor Centers to pick up a trail map and obtain more information.
Five Brooks Stables (415-663-1570) is a full service riding stable with a concession to operate within the National Seashore. They offer a variety of activities and services, including guided trail rides.
Safety and Etiquette
Trail conditions vary throughout the year. Visit our Trail Guide page for current trail closures and advisories or check with the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 before your ride for current trail information and special closures. There are also some trails and areas of the park described below that are permanently closed to horses and pack animals.
Stinging nettle is a common plant at Point Reyes National Seashore. Horses can react strongly if they are stung by this plant's small needle-like hairs. In extreme cases, horses have died after extensive exposure to this plant. Some trails may be overgrown at certain times of the year with nettle. Both horse and rider should avoid this plant. The best way to do this is to stay on the trail.
Horse riders should pay attention to signs at trailheads warning about yellow jackets, in addition to being alert for increasing numbers of yellow jackets. As a horse passes near a yellow jacket nest, it can shake the nest. Yellow jackets will then swarm out to defend the nest. If you are on a horse that is being attacked by yellow jackets, you will definitely want to promptly move out of the area. Some horses might panic upon being stung and may start bucking and bolting. Use your knowledge of your horse's temperment and your best judgment to resolve the situation.
Horse riding etiquette and rules for safety at Point Reyes National Seashore are much the same as at other parks:
NPSWilderness has produced three videos entitled Wilderness Calling: Point Reyes, Wilderness Motion: Point Reyes, and Wilderness Visions: Point Reyes featuring images and sounds from the Phillip Burton Wilderness within Point Reyes National Seashore, in addition to two videos about NPS wilderness: America's Wilderness and Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics which horse riders and other visitors to Point Reyes may find of interest.
Areas Closed to Horses and Pack Animals
Horses and pack animals are not allowed in the following areas at any time:
The following areas have seasonal closures:
Llamas are prohibited from all areas that are inhabited by tule elk. Map (200 KB PDF)
Camping with Horses and Pack Animals
Popular Trail Rides
From Five Brooks Trailhead
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...