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

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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 »

Headlands Winter Road Closures

Starting Saturday, December 27, 2014
Weekends And Holidays
Late December to Mid-April 2015
9 am to 5:30 pm

Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is CLOSED beyond South Beach Junction to visitor motor traffic. Visitors' vehicles are NOT permitted in the closed area between 9 am to approximately 5:30 pm when the shuttles are operating. Access to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock during the closure is only available by shuttle bus, bicycle or by foot.

Shuttle Bus Service
$5.00 per person
Children 16 and under free

 
Map of road closure when winter shuttle is operating. Click on image for a larger map. (840 KB PDF)

Map of road closure when winter shuttle is operating. Click on image for a larger map. (840 KB PDF)

One Way Bus Loop from:
Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach (Stop 1)
To the Lighthouse Parking Lot (Stop 2)
Then to the Chimney Rock Parking Lot (Stop 3)
And back to Drakes Beach

Directions to Point Reyes National Seashore's Bear Valley Visitor Center (near the park's main entrance)

Directions from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach

Park Map (489 KB PDF)

1. Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach
Purchase tickets in the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center beginning at 9:30 am. Buses leave on demand approximately every 15 to 20 minutes. Last tickets are sold at 3 pm and the last bus taking visitors to the headlands leaves at 3:30 pm. Dress warmly and be sure you have everything you need for the next few hours. No food is available after this point. There is a water fountain available at the Lighthouse Visitor Center and restrooms at the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock shuttle stops.

2. Lighthouse
Disembark the bus and walk 0.6 km (0.4 miles) to the Lighthouse Visitor Center. Just beyond the Visitor Center, you can watch for whales from the observation deck or descend down the 300 steps to the Lighthouse. Return to the shuttle stop when you are ready to move on, and a bus will come by every 15 to 20 minutes to take you to Chimney Rock. Be sure to return to the Lighthouse shuttle stop by 5 pm, or you may miss the last bus taking visitors back to Chimney Rock and Drakes Beach.

3. Chimney Rock
Whales, seals, and wildflowers! Walk about 300 meters (300 yards) to the Elephant Seal Overlook, visit the Historic Lifeboat Station, or take the 2.5 km (1.6 mi) round-trip hike to Chimney Rock to watch for whales. Keep your eyes open for wildflowers. Tidepool areas are closed while elephant seals are present. Return to the shuttle stop when you are ready to go back to Drakes Beach, and a bus will come by every 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to return to the shuttle stop by 5:30 pm, or you may miss the last bus taking visitors back to Drakes Beach.
Chimney Rock Area Map (77 KB PDF)


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Did You Know?

Bubblegum coral. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

On the Cordell Bank, just 32 kilometers (20 miles) to the west of Point Reyes, there are deep-water corals that are 10 to 15 meters (33 to 50 feet) high and estimated to be over 1500 years old. More...