Leave No Trace
Follow Leave No Trace principles.
Disposal of human waste
Use the toilets at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, Five Brooks, or Palomarin trailheadsor the Limantour Beach parking lot before starting your hike. Toilets are also available at Divide Meadow, in addition to at all four hike-in campgrounds.
If one needs to urinate or defecate while traveling to a campground and there are no toilets nearby, urinate or defecate at least 60 meters (200 feet or 75 adult paces) from water, camp, or trails.
- Urinate in rocky places that won't be damaged by wildlife who dig for salts and minerals found in urine.
- Carry a small garden trowel or lightweight scoop for digging a cat hole in which to bury feces.
- Deposit human waste in cat holes dug 15–20 cm (6–8 inches) deep.
- Cover and disguise the cat hole when finished, or pack out solid waste.
- Use toilet paper sparingly and pack it out along with sanitary napkins, and tampons in an airtight container. Consider using natural "toilet paper" such as a smooth rock or soft pine cone.
Campers at the hike-in campgrounds and at Marshall Beach and Tomales Beach are required to use the vault toilets at those locations for the disposal of human waste.
Boaters must remove human waste from the park, unless they are camping on Marshall Beach or Tomales Beach. Disposing of human waste in the bay or onto park beaches is prohibited, so campers must bring portable toilets or limit camping to Marshall Beach and Tomales Beach, where vault toilets are available.
Fires and fireworks
Wood fires are prohibited in the hike-in campgrounds. Only gas stoves, charcoal, or canned heat may be used for cooking.
Permits are required for beach fires in the park and can be picked up with your camping permit at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Small fires made out of natural driftwood are only permitted on sandy beaches (below the high tide line, if possible). Downed wood above the beach's vegetation line may not be gathered and burned. Put fires out with water, not sand. Visit our Beach Fires page for more details.
In the backcountry, charcoal fires are only allowed in the park-provided grills at designated campsites. Completely extinguish the briquettes before going to sleep or otherwise leaving the grill unattended.
Visitors planning to cook food over a beach fire or barbecue briquettes should come prepared with an alternative means (i.e., self-contained gas stove) of cooking in the event of a Winter Spare the Air Alert or high, very high or extreme fire danger.
Fireworks and other pyrotechnic/incendiary devices are prohibited.
Weapons and hunting
All weapons (including, but not limited to, B-B guns, slingshots, bows and arrows, or any object capable of discharging a projectile—with the exception of firearms), as well as weapons prohibited by the state, are prohibited.
Hunting is prohibited.
Food and scented items storage
Store your food and other scented items** properly in the food storage lockers provided at the campsite. There are no food storage lockers on the beaches of Tomales Bay so boat-in campers will need to bring their own portable animal-resistant food storage containers, i.e., bear canisters.
While the food storage lockers prevent larger animals from getting properly stored food, mice can gain access into the lockers through small drain holes. Campers may wish to use steel wool to plug these holes during their stay. Please remove the steel wool upon departure.
Do not leave any food or scented items unattended outside of the locker or stored in your tent. Raccoons, foxes, and skunks are plentiful and aggressive. Do not feed wild animals.
** Scented items may include, but are not limited to: soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, toiletries, feminine products, lip balm, deodorant, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, gum, candy, first-aid kits, pots, pans, plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons, knives, clothes in which one has cooked or eaten, and wash basins (e.g., the kitchen sink). As a general rule, if you put it in your mouth or on your skin or if food comes in contact with it, it should be stored in an animal-resistant food storage container.
Quiet hours are from sundown to sunrise. Respect your neighbors, the wilderness, and natural quiet.
Campsites should be left clean. Do not leave anything behind. If garbage and recycling receptacles near the vault toilets are full, pack out your trash.
Campers must vacate their campsite by noon on their day of departure, but are welcome to continue hiking and exploring the park after noon. Campers do not need to return to the Bear Valley Visitor Center in order to check out.
Maximum number of horses or pack animals in any campground is eight. Horses are not allowed at Glen Camp. Pack animals and horses must be tied to hitch rails.
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 and which hikers, campers, and other visitors to Point Reyes may find of interest.
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