Superintendent's Compendium

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Superintendent's Compendium of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements, and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority.

In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations ("36 CFR"), Chapter 1, Parts 1–7, authorized by Title 16 United States Code, Section 3, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Point Reyes National Seashore and the North District of Golden Gate National Recreation Area north off the Bolinas/Fairfax Road administered by Point Reyes National Seashore. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, parts 1–7. Some of the sub-sections are under review.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent's use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.

The Point Reyes National Seashore Superintendent's Compendium below was last updated on December 4, 2019. A copy of the signed compendium is available for review in the Superintendent's office at park headquarters at Bear Valley, located three miles south of Point Reyes Station. (Directions to Bear Valley.) A PDF copy of the signed compendium may be requested by emailing the park. Please be aware that the PDF may not be fully accessible, i.e., does not comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

 

I. 36 CFR §1.5 – Visiting Hours, Public Use Limits, Closures, and Area Designations for Specific Use or Activities

(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

Visiting Hours:

The Park is open to visitors every day of the year. Visitor center hours are as follows:

  • Bear Valley Visitor Center: Open year-round (except December 25); March–October weekdays 10 am to 5 pm weekends and holidays from 9 am to 5 pm November–February weekdays 10 am to 4:30 pm weekends and holidays from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center: Closed. During shuttle bus operations from late December through March, weather permitting, on weekends and holidays (except December 25), the visitor center will be open from 9:30 am. to 4:30 pm.
  • Lighthouse Visitor Center: Open year-round (except December 25), Friday through Monday 10 am to 4:30 pm. Closed on Tuesday through Thursday.

All areas in the park are closed to visitor vehicle parking between the hours of 12 am (midnight) and 6 am with the exception that visitors holding backcountry camping permits may park at established trailheads and authorized visitors staying overnight at the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center, the Point Reyes Hostel, and the Lifeboat Station may park at those locations or trailhead parking lots. Any other overnight parking and use must be approved by the Chief Ranger's office.

Public Use Limits:

Sir Francis Drake Boulevard:
  • During high visitation seasons due to wildflower, whale, sea lion, and elephant seal activity, visitors entering the westernmost section of the park on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard may be denied access beyond the road to South Beach. During such closures, shuttle bus transportation will be provided from this point to the various viewing and public use areas.

As a result of dramatically increasing visitation and traffic during the wildflower seasons, whale migrations, elephant seal and sea lion colony expansions in this area of the park, capacity limits have been established. It was determined that the visitor would be better served, and necessary resource protection would be better facilitated, by a docent program combined with shuttle bus service. Shuttle bus transportation will be provided from the point of closure to the various viewing and public use areas.

Wilderness Trail Use:
  • Day users traveling on established trails within designated wilderness areas may not travel in groups of more than 40 persons.

Large groups create noise and a presence that disturbs wildlife and interferes with other people in the area who are looking for a wilderness experience away from crowds and noise.

Bicycle Groups:
  • The maximum number of bicyclists in any one group is 10. Larger groups of cyclists will have to divide into groups no larger than 10.

This size restriction is necessary for the safety of cyclists using public roadways and authorized trails within the Park. These roadways and trails are narrow and winding and will not accommodate large numbers of bicyclists.

Picnic Group Size/Permits:
  • Visitor groups of more than 100 people who wish to picnic in the park must obtain a permit.

Because there are limited places in the park which can accommodate a picnic group of this size, and to minimize the impact of such a group on other visitors, a permit system is necessary for these groups.

Weddings/Permits:
  • All visitors wishing to hold a wedding ceremony in the park must obtain a permit.

In order to provide for resource protection, avoid conflicts between groups wishing to use the same site, and to minimize the impact of such events on other visitors, a permit system is necessary for these events.

Beaches:
  • Individuals or groups visiting beach areas who light or maintain a wood fire, including ceramic pit fires, must obtain a permit.

In order to protect beach resources, educate visitors on proper fire use and allowed materials, and control fires during High and Extreme Fire Danger, a permit system is necessary within the park.

  • Possession of a glass container within 50 feet of any riverbank, lakeshore, beach, on the water or in a vessel is prohibited.

This restriction is necessary to reduce the amount of injurious trash in the park and for the protection of visitors who frequent these areas in bare feet.

Boat Stay Limit:
  • Within the waters of Point Reyes National Seashore, all boats (occupied or unoccupied) are limited to a stay of four (4) consecutive nights in any one stay, and thirty (30) total nights within a calendar year.

In order to protect water quality, provide for standardized rules with other camping experiences and to allow all visitors access to the few protected anchorages, it is necessary to limit overnight stays.

Closures:

NOTE: All areas within the park are subject to emergency closure to the public when the Superintendent or designated representative determines an emergency situation exists which, coupled with continued visitation or unrestricted activities, would pose a threat to public safety, or adversely affect the park's natural, aesthetic, scenic, or cultural values. Such closures will be lifted immediately upon termination of the emergency situation.

Park Facilities:

The following areas and facilities are closed to public use:

  • Park administrative, maintenance, operations, storage, and employee housing facilities, including but not limited to access roads, outbuildings, grounds, and docks. This closure shall not apply to residents, guests of residents, or persons engaged in legitimate Government activities or permitted business activities.
  • Except for facilities designated for visitor use, all buildings are closed to unauthorized entry. This shall not apply to persons in non-public areas who have been granted specific permission by the National Park Service (NPS) or another authorized Federal agency, licensed concessionaires or their representatives, or those who are under escort of park employees acting within the scope of employment.
  • The use of electric vehicle charging stations in the headquarters parking lot is restricted to government owned vehicles.
Lifeboat Station Pier and Marine Railway:
  • The pier and marine railway boat launching facility adjacent to the historic lifeboat station at Chimney Rock are closed.

For visitor safety, the Chimney Rock Boathouse Pier and Marine Railway are for NPS administrative use only.

Chimney Rock Fish Dock:
  • The Fish Dock area beyond the closed sign at the end of Chimney Rock Road is closed to unauthorized vehicles. The Fish Dock is closed to public use/entry.

For visitor safety, the Chimney Rock Fish Dock is for NPS administrative use only.

Point Reyes Lighthouse and Headlands Area:
  • The entire Lighthouse overlook access (from the gate immediately adjacent to the shuttle bus stop at the lighthouse parking lot to the lower Lighthouse) is closed from 10 pm to 6 am.
  • The Lighthouse area is closed from the gate at the upper observation area to the lower Lighthouse on Tuesday through Thursday, all day, and all other days from 4:30 pm to 10 am or during periods when the wind speed exceeds 40 mph or when the gate is locked.
  • The entire Lighthouse overlook access (from the gate at the parking lot to the lower Lighthouse) is also closed to wedding ceremonies and other non-park sponsored events.
  • All off-trail areas west of the Lighthouse Parking Lot are closed. This closure includes areas accessed by going over or beyond the railings on the lighthouse stairs and platforms.

This area is closed for public safety reasons and to protect the historic Lighthouse, Visitor Center and other structures when no park staff is in the area. Weddings impact visitors not participating in the ceremonies. The Lighthouse is closed to weddings because the Lighthouse is a high visitation area, and weddings substantially increase the visitation and traffic in the area. The area is too small to safely accommodate wedding parties and visitors at the same time. Parking is also very limited.

Parking:
  • All parking areas in the park are closed to camping and overnight parking, with the exception that visitors holding (hike-in) backcountry camping permits may park at trailheads and visitors staying overnight at the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center, the Point Reyes Hostel, the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Stewart Horse Camp, and the Lifeboat Station may park at those locations.

Since overnight use and camping is prohibited in the park except in established backcountry campsites there is no valid reason for a vehicle to remain in the park overnight unless the Visitor and Resource Protection Division has been previously advised.

Boating:
  • Boating or the use of any vessel (as defined by 36 CFR 1.4) is prohibited in the following areas:
    • Within 100 yards of the Point Reyes headlands shoreline between the Point Reyes Lighthouse and Chimney Rock.

This closure is necessary to protect marine mammals and seabirds in this area consistent with the State of California Point Reyes Special Closure Marine Protected Area.

  • Non-Motorized Craft Allowed:
    • Where the use of vessels on inland waters is permitted, such as freshwater lakes and Giacomini Wetlands, only non-motorized craft may be used.

Due to their small size, shallow nature, and absence of appropriate access, these areas are closed to the use of motorized vessels.

Disturbing Wildlife with Sound:
  • The use of any audio or mechanical device to attract or disturb wildlife is prohibited.

The use of audio devices to attract wildlife has the potential to cause bodily injury, energy loss, a decrease in food intake, habitat avoidance and abandonment, and reproductive losses.

Vaping, E-Cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS):

The following portions of the park and all buildings, structures, and facilities are closed to the use these devices:

  • All public buildings including park offices and restrooms and public areas of concession buildings.
  • Within 25 feet of building entrances normally used by the public or within 25 feet of entrances not normally used by the public if ENDS vapor gets in the building.
  • Where posted.
  • Morgan Horse Ranch barn and exhibit areas.

This closure is necessary to protect the public and employees from the potentially harmful effects of the exposure to Vaping, ENDS and E-Cigarettes.

Remote Controlled Aircraft
  • Remote controlled aircraft (both motorized and gliders) are not allowed in the park.

Because the use of remote controlled aircraft has the potential to harass wildlife, especially marine mammals and threatened shore bird species, and bother other visitors, their use has been determined to be incompatible with the parks mission.

Unmanned Aircraft

Definition: The term "unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g. model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

  • Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Point Reyes National Seashore is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.

This closure is necessary to protect wildlife, visitor experiences, and wilderness within the seashore. Due to the variety and distribution of wildlife, the accessibility of the park, and the geography of the wilderness, nothing other than a full closure will provide sufficient protection.

Kehoe and Tomales Cliffs:
  • Ocean-facing cliff areas from Kehoe Beach to Tomales Point are closed except at the following sites: Elk Fence, Elephant Rock, Driftwood Beach, and the Lower Pierce Point Beach.

These areas are closed due to safety considerations. Less restrictive closures are not as safe as a full closure and could lead to visitor confusion as to when or whether the areas are open.

Bird Rock
  • Bird Rock is closed year round to visitor use.

The year round closure is necessary to insure that no damage occurs to nesting burrows of storm petrels and rhinoceros aucklets, both of which are species of concern under California state law. Brown pelicans, a federally listed threatened species, roost on Bird Rock in the summer time. Because there are bird colonies there throughout the year, nothing other than a full closure would be sufficient to protect the birds.

Drakes Beach Elephant Seal Colony:
  • Drakes Beach elephant seal pupping area as delineated by signs at the western-most end of Drakes Beach is closed to all entry due to seal activity at all times of the year.

This closure is necessary to protect an established elephant seal colony from disturbance and protect the public. The elephant seal colony is used all year. No management action other than closure is sufficient.

Hog and Duck Islands:
  • Access to the east side of Hog Island and the northwest side of Duck Island is closed to protect harbor seals. See Exhibit A. Hog Island is closed to overnight use.

The closure of this area is necessary to protect wildlife from disturbance.

Seasonal Closures:

Seabird Colony Sites:
  • Miller Rocks, Stormy Stack, Hog Island and Duck Island are closed to the public from March 1 to July 30 of each year.

This closure is necessary to ensure that no damage occurs to nesting burrows of storm petrels and rhinoceros aucklets, both of which are species of concern under California state law. These sites are also well-used by common murres, pigeon guillemots, pelagic cormorants, and double-crested cormorants, which are easily disturbed during nesting season. Nothing other than a full closure during nesting season would be sufficient to protect the birds.

Seal Pupping Areas:
  • Double Point and Drakes Estero harbor seal pupping areas (as signed) are closed to all entry from March 1 to June 30 of each year.
  • Limantour Spit harbor seal pupping area (as signed) is closed to all entry from March 1 to June 30 of each year.
  • The southern end of South Point Reyes Beach (as signed) to the Lighthouse; the beach from the Chimney Rock Lifeboat Station to Chimney Rock; the road leading from the gate at the end of the Chimney Rock Road to the Fish Dock area including immediately adjacent beaches. From December 15 to March 31 these areas are closed to all entry to protect elephant seals during pupping season.
  • Drakes Beach starting approximately southwest of the Ken Patrick Visitor Center from the edge of the bluffs to the ocean and continuing south to the current permanent elephant seal closure (see map in appendix) December 15 to March 15 of each year.

These closures are necessary to protect harbor and elephant seals from disturbance during the pupping season or when they are exceptionally vulnerable and for other wildlife concerns. Additionally these temporary closures are necessary to protect marine mammals and to provide for visitor safety. Adult female elephant seals with pups and attending males can be aggressive towards humans. There is also a risk that people can become trapped by the incoming tides and seals moving around the area. The Marine Mammal Protection Act and National Park Service regulations protect seals from any disturbance that alters their behavior.

Snowy Plover Closures:
  • The Point Reyes (Great) beach between the North Beach Parking lot and Abbotts Lagoon is closed to all entry by visitors each Saturday and Sunday and Federal Holiday from the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The seasonal closure is necessary to ensure that no damage occurs to ground nests of snowy plovers, a federally listed threatened species. Because there are bird nests there throughout the breeding season, nothing other than a full closure of the specific fenced areas would be sufficient to protect the birds.

Kite-boarding:
  • Kite-boarding is not allowed off Limantour Beach west of the east access trail, the portion of Point Reyes Beach from North Beach parking lot to Kehoe Beach and within Abbotts Lagoon from March 1 to September 30 due to Snowy Plover Habitat.
Kite-flying:
  • Kite-flying is prohibited on Limantour Beach west of the east access trail, the portion Point Reyes Beach from North Beach parking lot to Kehoe Beach and the shoreline of Abbotts Lagoon due to snowy plover nesting activity from March 1 to September 30.

These seasonal closures are necessary as kite-boarding and kite-flying can disturb nesting shorebirds, cause nests to fail, and interfere with wildlife behavior.

Limantour & Drakes Estero:
  • The waters including tidal areas of Limantour and Drakes Estero are closed to boating from March 1 to June 30.

The Esteros are protected seabird, shorebird, and marine mammal pupping sites. No management action other than closure is sufficient because a single disturbance could significantly reduce the productivity of the colonies, resulting in a reduced population size or loss of habitat if they leave the area.

(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:

  • Camping: Please refer to § 2.10 of this compendium for specific camping area designations.
  • Biking and e-bikes: Please refer to § 4.30(b) of this compendium for specific biking area designations.
  • As per section § 7.81, Drakes Beach Overlook is the only location approved for powerless flight. A permit is required in that location.

For safety reasons, Drakes Beach Overlook is best suited for this use. A large part of the park is congressionally designated wilderness where powerless flight is not a compatible use. There are very few places where powerless flight would be safe.

 

II. 36 CFR §1.6 – Activities that Require a Permit

(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the Superintendent is required:

For all permits, contact Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes Station, California 94956, phone number, 415-464-5170.

  • §1.5(d) The following activities related to Public Use Limits:
    • Picnic groups of over 100 people
    • Weddings
    • Visitors lighting or maintaining beach fires and ceramic pit fires
  • §2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net
  • §2.5(a) Specimen collection (take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)
  • §2.10(a) The following camping activities:
    • Overnight camping, including hike-in and boat-in camping
  • §2.12 Audio Disturbances:
    • (a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas
    • (a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
    • (a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51
  • §2.13(a) Fires: Beach fires and ceramic pit fires
  • §2.16 Horses and Pack Animals: Groups with over 25 head of horses or pack animals
  • §2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery:
    • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means
    • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft
  • §2.38 Explosives:
    • (a) Use, possess, store, or transport explosives, or blasting agents
    • (b) Use or possess fireworks
  • §2.50(a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events
  • §2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expression of views involving more than 25 people
  • §2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising
  • §2.60(b) Livestock use
  • §2.61(a) Residing on federal lands
  • §2.62 Memorialization:
    • (a) Erection of monuments (Requires approval from Regional Director)
    • (b) Scattering ashes from human cremation
  • §4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits
  • §5.1 Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution.)
  • §5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (Requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).
  • §5.5 Commercial Photography/Filming:
    • (a) Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television
    • (b) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.
  • §5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The Superintendent may issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available)
  • §5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.
  • §6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site
  • Part 7 Special Regulations
  • §7.81 Powerless Flight
 

III. General Regulations

36 CFR §2.1 – Preservation of Natural, Cultural, and Archeological Resources

(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:

  • Individuals or groups who have been issued a fire permit under 1.5(a)(1) may collect naturally occurring dead wood (driftwood) that does not contain creosote from beach areas for use as firewood on those beaches in the park, except for beaches on Tomales Bay.

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

  • Blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, gooseberries, salmonberries, huckleberries, or apples, 2 quarts per person per day.
  • Mushrooms, 2 gallons and 1 mushroom per adult per day.

The minor collection of any of these items will not result in an adverse effect to park wildlife, the reproduction of any plant species or other park resources or otherwise adversely affect park wildlife. If future monitoring indicates that such collection is causing any of the above problems, the authorization of this consumptive use will be terminated.

 

36 CFR §2.2 - Wildlife Protection

(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • The carcass must be tagged in accordance with state law.
  • Said carcass must be kept out of sight.

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • The entire park is closed to viewing wildlife with artificial light.
 

36 CFR §2.10 – Camping and Food Storage

(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • Stay Limit: Camping in Point Reyes National Seashore is limited to not more than a total of 4 nights in any one visit and not more than 30 nights in any given calendar year unless authorized by a special use permit.
  • Site Limit: Each campsite at Point Reyes National Seashore has a maximum density (persons per site) which is given at the time the permit is issued and to exceed this number is considered a violation of permit.
  • Group Site Limit: Group sites are limited to a maximum of 25 people per night at Coast Camp, Wildcat Camp, and Sky Camp and the group sites on Tomales Bay.
  • Checkout Time: Checkout time in all campgrounds is noon on the day of departure.
  • Waste Water Disposal: Camping waste-water (dishwater and cooking water) must be discharged at least 100 feet from streams or bodies of water.
  • Age Limit: The minimum age of any camper is 18 unless accompanied by an adult.
  • Backcountry Camping Permits: Backcountry camping in Point Reyes National Seashore is by permit only at designated backcountry campsites. The sites are located at the following designated campgrounds: Coast Camp, Sky Camp, Wildcat Camp and Glen Camp. Camping permits must be in the possession of the camper while he/she is en-route to their site. Thereafter the permit is to be attached to the tent or some other object at the campsite where it can be checked should the permittee be away from the site.
  • Tomales Bay Boat Camping: All camping within Tomales Bay, on NPS managed land and water is boat-in camping and requires a permit. Camping on the west shore of Tomales Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore, with the exception of Tomales Bay State Park, is authorized for dispersed minimum impact camping within 75 feet of the mean high tide level. Camping permits must be in the possession of the group while in the park.
  • Camping on Hog Island, Duck Island, Pelican Point, Lairds Landing, Jacks Beach and at Duck Cove is prohibited.

(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is authorized only in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • In established campsites in designated campgrounds.

(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:

  • All food items (including canned, bottled or otherwise packaged), equipment used to cook or store food, garbage and toiletries (including soap, toothpaste, and cosmetics) must be stored in food lockers where provided.
  • Canned or bottled items that have never been opened may be stored in vessels, or in the trunk of the vehicle parked at the trailhead parking area or if there is no trunk, as low in the vehicle as possible, provided that the cans and bottles are stored out of sight in odor-tight containers and all vehicle doors, windows, and vents are closed.

At-large camping has been determined to be inconsistent with the resource protection and visitor management mission of the park. Campsite locations have been selected for maximum visitor experience while avoiding sensitive resource areas.

 

36 CFR §2.11 – Picnicking

Conditions for Picnicking:

  • Leaving food unattended is prohibited.
  • Picnicking is permitted within all designated campgrounds; however, picnickers must yield campsites to persons with camping permits.
  • Groups of over 100 people who wish to picnic in the park must first obtain a permit.
  • A designated portion of Bear Valley picnic area is available by reservation. This portion is limited to a maximum of 75 people.
 

36 CFR §2.13 – Fires

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas:

  • Beaches: Wood fires are allowed, by permit, pursuant to 1.5(a)(1) Public Use Limits, on beaches below the high tide line within Point Reyes National Seashore.
  • Campgrounds and Picnic Areas: Charcoal fires only for cooking.
  • Stewart Horse Camp: Wood and charcoal fires in park provided grills.

Established Conditions:

In all cases, fires are only allowed in such fire danger conditions as directed by the park’s Fire Step-Up Plan.

Beach Fires:

  • The person attending the beach fire must have in his/her possession a valid permit.
  • Fires must be a minimum of 30 feet in all directions from flammable material, including vegetation.
  • No fire shall exceed 36 inches in diameter at its base.
  • Wooden pallets, tires or flammable liquid such as gasoline may not be burned. All metal, such as nails or screws, must be removed from wood before it is brought to the beach.

Campgrounds and Picnic Areas:

  • Only charcoal, gas stove or canned heat may be used for cooking.
  • Charcoal fires only may be made in the provided grills or in visitor owned grills brought into a campground.

Stewart Horse Camp:

  • Wood fires may only be made in the provided grills.
  • Charcoal fires may only be made in the provided grills or in visitor owned grills brought into a campground.

(b) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:

  • Fires shall be attended at all times by a responsible person until the fire is completely out and the coals are cold. Fire must be completely extinguished with water. Extinguishing fires with sand is prohibited.
  • Fires must be extinguished by 11 pm.

(c) High fire danger closures will be in effect as noted:

  • Mount Vision Road will be closed to vehicles during Very High, Extreme, or Red Flag fire danger.
 

36 CFR §2.14 – Sanitation and Refuse

(b) Conditions for the disposal, containerization, or carryout of human body waste have been established as follows:

  • Human waste must be disposed of at least 100 feet from any water source (including dry seasonal creek beds), campsite or trail and be buried 6" deep in the soil.
  • Portable toilets or similar commercially designed waste disposal containers (including Wag Bags) are required for all overnight trips in Tomales Bay.
 

36 CFR §2.15 – Pets

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:

All trails, beaches and off-trail lands within Point Reyes National Seashore and the Northern District of Golden Gate NRA are closed to the possession of pets with the following exceptions:

  • Limantour Beach and trails to the beach from the east and west parking lots, except:
    • Limantour Spit, which includes all areas west of the west parking lot and access trail.
  • Trails and roads within the Niman Ranch/Commonweal area south of the Commonweal entrance road and west of Mesa Rd.
  • The Kehoe Beach Access Trail.
  • Trails and roads within the Northern District of Golden Gate NRA which are both north of Bolinas Fairfax Road and east of Shoreline Hwy (State Hwy 1), including:
    • Bolinas Ridge Trail
    • McCurdy Trail
    • Randall Trail
    • Jewell Trail
    • Cross Marin Trail
  • Trails within the Giacomini Wetlands.
  • Tomales Bay boat-in campsites south of the Tomales Point Tule Elk Preserve.
    Note: Pets are allowed on the beach. However, pets are prohibited on trails and lands leading to/surrounding Tomales Bay boat-in campsites, including Marshall Beach Trail and the access road to Tomales Beach Campground.
  • The Point Reyes Beach (Great Beach) except for the following seasonal closures:
    • The portion of the Great Beach from the north end of the North Beach parking lot to the intersection of Kehoe Beach Trail and Kehoe Beach is closed to pets during snowy plover nesting season.
    • The southern end of the Great Beach (south of South Beach parking lot) from the Navy installation/lifeboat station south to the Lighthouse is closed to pets during January, February and March to protect elephant seals during pupping season.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

  • Pet excrement must be bagged and deposited in proper waste receptacles.

(e) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Park employees in government housing may keep pets only in accordance with the Point Reyes National Seashore Pet Policy SOP approved by the Superintendent. That document shall, by reference, be made a part of this compendium. Permit/lease and Reservation of Use and Occupancy holders must comply with Marin County pet regulations.
 

36 CFR §2.16 – Horses and Pack Animals

(a) The following animals are designated as pack animals for purposes of transporting equipment:

  • Horses
  • Mules
  • Burros
  • Llamas

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is prohibited outside of the following trails, routes or areas designated for their use:

  • Park-wide except that:
    • Drakes Beach, Earthquake Trail, Woodpecker Trail, and the spur trail leading from Coast Trail to Arch Rock are closed to horses and other pack animals at all times (See Exhibit B).
    • Llamas are prohibited on the Tomales Point Tule Elk Preserve and the Limantour Area from Home Bay to Coast Trail/Woodward Valley Trail Junction and the beach to Inverness Ridge (See Exhibit C).
    • The following areas are closed to horses and pack animals on weekends and holidays because such use will conflict with high visitor use: Bear Valley Trail (between Mt. Wittenberg Trail and Glen Trail junction), Meadow Trail, and Old Pine Trail.
    • Overnight camping with horses and pack animals (except llamas) is permitted only in the designated areas of the Coast, Wildcat or Sky Camps. Llamas are allowed to overnight camp in the designated areas at Wildcat and Sky Camps.
    • Horses and pack animals are not permitted overnight at Glen Camp.

(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:

  • Horse drawn wagons, carts and/or buggies are prohibited on all trails unless specifically authorized by the Superintendent or designated representative.
  • Off-trail or cross-country travel is prohibited, except within 100 feet of the trail for purposes of watering and rest stops, or by permitees conducting normal ranching operations in enclosed pastures, corrals and fields under Special Use Permit, Lease or Reservation of Use and Occupancy.
  • Stock users are specifically prohibited from establishing new trails and from short cutting trails and switchbacks.
  • All persons who wish to camp in the backcountry campgrounds must obtain and carry with them a camping permit. The permit is valid only for the dates and camping locations indicated.
  • The maximum string size for parties not spending nights in the park is 25 head of stock on designated routes. Groups in excess of 25 head of stock must obtain a permit from the Superintendent.
  • Tying stock to trees overnight or for extended periods of time is prohibited. When picketed on a line, stock must be tied so they cannot chew on tree bark or eat the leaves of shrubs or plants.
  • It is prohibited to tie or picket stock within 100 feet of any stream, lake or spring. Stock may not be tied within a campsite except for loading and unloading or in designated areas.
  • Grazing is prohibited.
  • Groups with horses or pack animals must bring in their own feed for their animals. Certified weed free hay, pellet feed or hay cubes are required to minimize noxious weed introduction.
  • Horse users are prohibited from unloading manure and hay from their trailers into parking lots within the Seashore.
  • Campers are required to thoroughly clean the campsite on a daily basis. Manure and uneaten fodder must be raked and spread out.
  • Watering facilities must be used when they are provided.
  • The maximum number of horses permitted overnight at Sky, Coast and Wildcat campgrounds is 8.
 

36 CFR §2.17 – Aircraft and Air Delivery

(a)(1) Areas designated for operating or using aircraft are provided for in section 7.81

(a)(2) The operation or use of aircraft under power on water within 500 feet of designated swimming beaches, boat docks, piers, or ramps is permitted in the following areas, under the conditions noted:

  • There are no park designated areas where seaplanes may land.

(c)(1) The removal of a downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the Superintendent through written authorization.

 

36 CFR §2.21 – Smoking

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:

  • All public buildings including park offices and restrooms, and public areas of concession buildings.
  • Within 25 feet of building entrances normally used by the public, or within 25 feet of entrances not normally used by the public if smoke gets in the building.
  • Where posted.
  • Smoking while traveling on trails. Persons who wish to smoke while hiking or riding on trails must stop and remain in one location until they have extinguished their smoking material.
  • Morgan Horse Ranch barn and exhibit areas.
  • The Superintendent may ban smoking on trails and in backcountry areas during periods of Very High and Extreme fire danger.

These restrictions are enacted to protect public health and structures from fire danger or smoke. This prohibition is consistent with state law and past practice. Smoking while on trails or backcountry areas during very high or extreme fire danger conditions is prohibited because of heightened fire danger.

 

36 CFR §2.22 – Property

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in the following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Visitors on backcountry trips may leave their vehicles unattended for the period specified by the backcountry permit.
 

36 CFR §2.23 – Recreation Fees

(b) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Areas, Daily Site Use Fee Areas, Special Recreation Permit Fee (such as, but not limited to, group activities, recreation events, and the use of motorized recreation vehicles):

  • None.
 

36 CFR §2.35 –Alcoholic Beverages and Controlled Substances

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:

  • All public use areas within the park are closed to the possession of a receptacle(s) with a capacity of five fluid gallons or more which contain(s) an alcoholic beverage.

The behavior induced by the consumption of excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages may adversely affect the park experience of other visitors. Parties with alcohol in large containers (i.e. kegs) have caused visitor safety issues and vandalism.

 

36 CFR §2.51 – Public Assemblies, Meetings

(e) The following areas are designated for the purpose of 1st Amendment speech, demonstrations and/or the distribution and/or sale of printed matter. Groups of more than 25 demonstrators must obtain a permit from the park Superintendent:

  • Areas adjacent to the Bear Valley and Ken Patrick Visitor Centers (see Exhibit D).
 

36 CFR §2.62 – Memorialization

(b) The scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited except pursuant to the following terms and conditions:

  • A permit is required for all areas.
  • Remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized.
  • Scattering by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of freshwater.
  • Scattering from the air will not be performed over developed areas, facilities or bodies of water and will be performed at a minimum altitude of 2000 feet above the ground.
 

36 CFR §3.3 – Vessel Permits

Permits are required for the use of a vessel in the following areas:

  • None
 

36 CFR §3.21 – Swimming and Bathing

(a)(1) The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:

  • None.

(a)(2) Swimming and bathing is allowed under the following conditions:

  • No soap may be used in any freshwater lake, pond, or stream.
 

36 CFR §3.18 – Snorkeling and Underwater Diving

(a) Snorkeling and underwater diving is permitted in all park waters subject to the following closures or restrictions:

  • Drakes Estero and Limantour Estero are closed to snorkeling and underwater diving from March 1 to June 30.
 

36 CFR §4.10 – Travel on Park Roads and Routes

(a) Park roads open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated below, and/or as indicated in the following publication or document (attached hereto):

 

36 CFR §4.11 – Vehicle Load, Weight and Size Limits

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:

  • Vehicles over 24 feet in length are prohibited on Mount Vision Road and Chimney Rock Road. Groups arriving by bus who have reservations at the Lifeboat Station will be escorted by NPS staff to that location.
  • Travel trailers are prohibited on Limantour Road, Mount Vision Road, and Chimney Rock Road.
 

36 CFR §4.21 – Speed Limits

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

5 MPH:

  • Morgan Horse Ranch Circle
  • Lighthouse Access Road (beyond the gate)
  • NDOC Circle

15 MPH:

  • The unpaved section of Mesa Road
  • Schooner Bay Road
  • Mt. Vision Road
  • Estero Trail Access Road
  • Marshall Beach Road
  • Sacramento Landing Road
  • Bear Valley Trailhead Road
  • McClures Beach Road
  • Chimney Rock Road
  • Lighthouse Road from the parking lot to the designated handicapped parking spots.
  • All roads open for administrative use only.

25 MPH:

  • Limantour Road (Sky Trail to Limantour Parking Lot, including the road to the southern parking lot)
  • L Ranch Road to L Ranch
  • North Beach Access Road
  • South Beach Access Road
  • Drakes Beach Road from D Ranch to the Ken Patrick Visitor Center
  • Sir Francis Drake Blvd from Chimney Rock Junction to the Lighthouse Parking lot

35 MPH:

  • Pierce Point Road
  • Limantour Road (Sky Trail to Bear Valley Road)

Posted speed limits shall apply on all County and State controlled roads within Point Reyes National Seashore and the Northern District of Golden Gate NRA.

 

36 CFR §4.30 – Bicycles

In order to provide for resource protection, minimize conflicts between users groups and due to the nature of the multi-use routes within the park, e-bike usage is limited to Class I e-bikes where traditional bikes are allowed and as listed below, except as noted (Abbotts Lagoon Trail). E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bikes are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

An e-bike is a two or three wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.) that provides propulsion assistance.

Class I e-bikes are permitted.

Any person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23 and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Point Reyes National Seashore and the administrative area of Golden Gate National Recreation Area is governed by state law, which is adopted and part of this Compendium. Any violation of state law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.

(b) The following additional routes, in developed areas or special use zones, have been designated for bicycle use and class I e-bikes:

  • Sky Trail (from Limantour Road to Sky Camp)
  • Bear Valley Trail (Bear Valley to Glen Junction)
  • Coast Trail (Laguna Road to Coast Camp)
  • Inverness Ridge Trail (Limantour Road to the base of Mt. Vision Road)
  • Marshall Beach Trail
  • Stewart Trail (including Glen Camp Spur Trail from Stewart Trail to Glen Camp)
  • Bull Point Trail
  • Estero Trail from the trailhead to Drakes Head and/or Sunset Beach
  • Olema Valley Trail
  • Abbotts Lagoon to the footbridge (No e-bikes)
  • Lighthouse Service Road from the gate to the Visitor Center
  • Kule Loklo Trail from the visitor center north to Bear Valley Road

36 CFR § 7.97 [Golden Gate National Recreation Area]

(c)(1) The following routes have been designated for bicycle use and class I e-bikes:

  • Bolinas Ridge Trail
  • McCurdy Trail
  • Randall Trail
  • Jewell Trail
  • Cross Marin Trail

(c)(2)(i) Speed Limit The speed limit for bicycles on designated routes within the Park shall be 15 mph on trails with long sight distances

(c)(2)(ii) 5 mph when passing others or approaching blind turns

 

36 CFR §4.31 – Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is permitted in the following areas under the conditions noted:

  • Hitchhiking is allowed anywhere in the park as long as the person does not stand in a roadway and the hitchhiking/solicitation does not adversely affect visitor safety or the normal flow of traffic.
 

36 CFR §4.31 – Powerless Flight

(a) The use of devices designed to carry persons through the air in powerless flight is allowed at the following locations pursuant to terms and conditions of a permit.

  • Drakes Beach Overlook

Last updated: December 15, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Phone:

415-464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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