Camping within Point Reyes National Seashore is by prepaid permit only. Camping permits must be obtained at the Bear Valley Visitor Center before starting your trip. There is no after-hours self-registration for camping available. You must have made a reservation in advance to camp within Point Reyes National Seashore.
If you have made a reservation and are arriving after 5 p.m., a permit will be left for you in a small wooden box on the back side of the information board outside of the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Retrieve your permit from the box, fill in the highlighted sections, sign the permit, remove the carbon copies and put the carbon copies back in the box. Attach the original permit to your backpack as you travel to your campsite, then attach it to the outside of your tent once you’ve set up camp.
For more detailed instructions, view the following Photo Album or scroll further down this page.
Step 1. Camping permits must be obtained at the Bear Valley Visitor Center before starting your trip. As you drive up the hill to the Visitor Center, turn right into the main parking lot.
Step 2. Head for the bulletin board in front of the Visitor Center and go to the side facing the Visitor Center.
Step 3. On the side of the bulletin board facing the Visitor Center is a sign for "Backcountry Camping Information After Hours Registration."
Step 4. Below the "Backcountry Camping Information After Hours Registration" sign is a small wooden box labeled "Camping Permits and Maps."
Step 5. Permits not picked up by the time the Visitor Center closes will be left inside the wooden box.
Step 6. Retrieve your permit from the box.
Step 7. On the line for "Location of entry," write the name of the trailhead at which you will start your backcountry trip, i.e., Bear Valley, Sky, Laguna, Limantour, Five Brooks, or Palomarin.
Step 8. On the line for "Location of exit," write the name of the trailhead at which you will end your trip.
Step 10. On the line for "Number of people in group," write the number of people in your party.
Step 11. On the line for "DATE" and "(VISITOR’S SIGNATURE)", write the date and sign your name.
Step 12. Remove the carbon copies from the original permit.
Step 13. On the white carbon copy, write the descriptions (color, make, model) and license plate number of any vehicles your group will be parking overnight in the Seashore.
Step 14. Put the carbon copies (both the white and the pink) and carbon paper back in the wooden box.
Step 15. Attach your permit to your backpack as you travel to your campsite. Attach your permit to the exterior of your tent once you have it set up. Rangers may ask to see your permit while you are hiking or stop by your campsite while you are away in order to check for permits, so make sure your permit is readily available and easily found.
Last updated: April 24, 2013