Wildlife Protection Closures
To protect harbor seals from disturbance during the most crucial part of the pupping season, from March 1 through June 30 the National Park Service has closed the following areas to the public: Drakes Estero, Estero de Limantour, Double Point, and the western end of Limantour Spit. Duck Island and the east side of Hog Island are closed to the public year round.
Map of Estero closures March 1–June 30 (258 KB PDF)
Map of Seal Protection Closures at the western end of Limantour Spit March 1–June 30 (104 KB PDF)
Map of Hog Island closure (42 KB PDF)
Western Snowy Plovers
Disturbance by park visitors in plover breeding areas can separate chicks from the adults, and the chicks may then not be able to forage efficiently, thermoregulate properly, and hide from predators.
- Point Reyes Beach Closure - Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend
A closure of the beach area between the North Beach parking lot and the mouth of Abbotts Lagoon is in effect on weekends and federal holidays from the Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day through Labor Day to better ensure the survival of federally-threatened western snowy plover nests and chicks within this area on busy weekends. All public use is prohibited. Reproductive monitoring of western snowy plovers at Point Reyes has previously demonstrated that chick mortality is higher on weekend days than weekdays. In 2013, for example, of the 11 newly hatched chicks in this area, only 3 survived past the July 4 weekend.
Map of Beach Closure - May 27 through September 4, 2017 (303 KB PDF)
- Limantour Beach Closure - Saturday, June 24, 2017, through Monday, September 4, 2017
A section of Limantour Beach marked by fencing between the larger, gravel northern parking lot and the smaller, paved southern parking lot is closed through Labor Day to better protect western snowy plovers from disturbance during their nesting season. All public use is prohibited. Western snowy plovers, a federally-threatened species, have chosen an area of Limantour Beach between the two parking lots for nesting. So far this season, four nests have been established there. Public visitation at Limantour Beach has reached an all-time high in 2017. Park staff have witnessed multiple occasions in which people and dogs disturbed the nesting plovers, despite ample signage and other protection measures.
Map of Temporary Closure - June 24 through September 4, 2017 (268 KB PDF)
Llamas are prohibited from all areas that are inhabited by tule elk. Map (200 KB PDF)
Marine Protected Areas
On May 1, 2010, a number of Marine Protected Areas went into effect within and adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore, in part to better protect nesting birds. Per the Marine Life Protection Act (MPLA), the Point Reyes Headlands is closed to all vessels within 305 meters (1000 feet) of shore from Chimney Rock west to Longitude 123° 01.00'. Per the Superintendent's Compendium, from Longitude 123° 01.00' west to the Point Reyes Lighthouse the headlands is closed to all vessels within 91 meters (100 yards) of shore. There are also 91-meter (300-foot) special closures around Point Resistance and Double Point/Stormy Stack, per the MLPA.
Northern Elephant Seals
Drakes Beach Temporary Beach Closure - January 18, 2017, through March 15, 2017
A temporary closure of Drakes Beach starting approximately ¼ mile southwest of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and continuing south to the current permanent elephant seal closure was in effect to better protect elephant seals from disturbance during the pupping season when they are exceptionally vulnerable. All public use shall be prohibited. No decision has yet to be made as to whether a similar closure will be implemented in 2018.
Chimney Rock Fish Dock Area Closure - December 15 through March 31
A closure of the road leading from the gate at the end of the Chimney Rock Road to the Fish Dock area, including immediately adjacent beaches, is in effect due to nursing elephant seal pups in the Fish Dock area.
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