Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The winter solstice—the shortest day of the year—arrives on Monday, December 21, followed by the full moon on Friday, December 25. As the moon waxes toward full, there are extreme morning high tides ranging from 6.9 feet at 7:35 am on Tuesday, December 22 to 7.1 feet at 9:06 am on December 24. High tides such as these—combined with potential heavy rainfall—may create flooding in low lying areas. Check the park website and local radio stations for updates.
Holiday sparklers are the Ursid meteor shower between December 17 and December 24, peaking on December 22 with a waxing moon. Five to fifteen meteors per hour may be seen.
Wet weather and warm temperatures have fungi appearing! Spreads of candy cap (the caps are quarter-sized and rusty-brown in color) and brilliant yellow slimy blobs of witches' butter have created wondering questions!
Park visitor centers are closed Friday December 25, but roads and trails are open, and patrol rangers are on duty.
The 18th annual winter shuttle bus season is due to begin on Saturday, December 26 and continues on weekends and federal holidays through late March. On days with clear weather predicted, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard will be closed at South Beach and travelers to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock will be directed to catch the shuttle at Drakes Beach. Tickets are $7.00 per adult; children 16 and under free. Federal Interagency Senior and Access pass holders receive a discount.