On weekdays, Drakes Beach and its access road from Sir Francis Drake Boulevard are temporarily closed to all vehicle, foot, & bicycle traffic due to elephant seal activity in the area. There will be limited access for elephant seal viewing on weekends.
The NPS has begun a large restoration project on the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse. The area west of the lighthouse visitors' parking lot is currently closed to all public access 7 days a week. Visitors found in the closed area are subject to citation.
During 2015, Arch Rock collapsed and cracks were reported along the top of a bluff along Chimney Rock Trail. In 2017, part of the bluff at Tomales Point collapsed. Bluff tops may be unstable and additional collapses may occur. Stay on designated trails.
The National Weather Service has issued a Small Craft Advisory for coastal waters between Point Arena and Point Reyes, including Tomales Bay. Winds of 21 to 33 knots and/or steep waves are expected to produce hazardous wave conditions to small craft.
The National Weather Service has issued a Small Craft Advisory for coastal waters between Point Reyes and Pigeon Point. Winds of 21 to 33 knots and/or steep waves are expected to produce hazardous wave conditions to small craft.
All Park Roads are currently open, except for:
- Drakes Beach Road - In January 2019, elephant seals occupied the section of Drakes Beach adjacent to the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, and, at times, the parking lot and wooden ramps leading up to the visitor center. As a result, the entire Drakes Beach area south of the junction of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Drakes Beach Road was closed to the public to better protect the elephant seals from disturbance. With the partial government shutdown ended, Point Reyes National Seashore has reopened the Drakes Beach Road and parking lot from 9 am until 5 pm on weekends and federal holidays. The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center is open from 10 am until 4:30 pm on weekends and federal holidays. Park Rangers and Winter Wildlife Docents will be on site to provide direction, education, and safe elephant seal viewing opportunities for the public. There is no need to RSVP, purchase tickets, or make reservations to visit Drakes Beach or the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center; just come on by between 9 am and 5 pm on weekends and federal holidays. Access may change based upon elephant seal activity. Until further notice, the Drakes Beach area will remain closed on Mondays through Fridays, as well as before 9 am and after 5 pm on weekends and holidays. Citations will be issued to individuals and vehicles found south of the road closure during these times.
Through late March or early April, the western end of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard may be is closed on weekends and federal holidays when the Winter Shuttle Bus System is operating. However:
- Due to the Lighthouse Restoration Project, the shuttle bus will not be stopping in the lighthouse area for the majority of the 2018–2019 shuttle bus season.
- Until further notice, the winter shuttle bus operation is on hold. In January 2019, female northern elephant seals hauled out at Drakes Beach adjacent to the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and gave birth to pups. The National Park Service is working to determine:
- how best to provide visitors opportunities to view the seals at Drakes Beach in such a way as to not disturb the seals; and
- whether or not to operate the shuttle buses to relieve traffic congestion on the Chimney Rock Road and to mitigate the limited parking available at Chimney Rock.
Please continue to monitor this page and our social media sites for updates.
After wind and/or rain storms, many roads to and from and within Point Reyes National Seashore may be blocked due to flooding, mud slides, downed trees, and/or power lines. Reports of closures and re-openings of roads are received too frequently to keep this page up-to-date. For emergency road and weather conditions in West Marin, visit , the , the , the , the , the , or tune in to KWMR, 90.5 FM.
For more information on road closures in Marin County and the Bay Area, check the Marin Sheriff Current Emergency Information, the California Department of Transportation's Current Highway Conditions, and CHP Traffic Incident Information (select "Golden Gate" from the "Communication Centers" drop-down menu in the upper left corner, then look for "Marin" in the "Location" and/or "Area" columns) websites.
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Visit our Trail Advisories and Closures page for the latest trail updates.
Warning: Hazardous conditions near north end of the Tomales Point Trail. In January 2017, part of the bluff at the north end of Tomales Point collapsed. The bluff top may be unstable & another collapse could occur. Please don't attempt to reach the northern end of Tomales Point by going off-trail to the east of the collapse. More...
Warning: Fissures reported near the Chimney Rock Trail. Cracks were reported on a portion of the bluff near the Chimney Rock Trail on December 21, 2015. These fissures could indicate the possibility of a weakening cliff face in the area. The land may be unstable and a collapse or erosion could occur. Visitors are reminded to stay on designated trails. More...
Warning: The Arch Rock trail has been closed until further notice. New hazardous conditions on Arch Rock were reported to the park on Thursday, March 19, 2015. On Saturday, March 21, 2015, a portion of the land at the Arch Rock overlook collapsed into the waters 70 feet below. More...
Health and Safety Warnings/Advisories
There are currently no health and safety warnings/advisories for the Point Reyes area in effect.
Annual Seasonal Health and Safety Warnings/Advisories
Annual Quarantine of Sport-Harvested Mussels - May 1 through October 31
Every year, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announces an annual quarantine of sport-harvested mussels gathered along the California coast. The quarantine is in effect from May 1 until October 31 and applies to all species of mussels that are recreationally harvested along the California coast, including all bays and estuaries. The quarantine is in place to protect the public against poisoning that can lead to serious illness, including coma and death.
CDPH's Marine Biotoxin Monitoring Program's Annual Mussel Quarantine - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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In late winter and early spring, there are plenty of opportunities to see a wide range of animals. Elephant seal females are weaning their pups, and bulls are battling for dominance of beaches near Chimney Rock. Gray whales are migrating past the point on their way from Baja California to the Bering and Chukchi seas. Female harbor seals haul out on sandbars and beaches in Drakes Estero, Estero de Limantour, Tomales Bay, Double Point, and Bolinas Lagoon to give birth and raise their pups. Please note that when seals and other pinnipeds haul out, they are extremely vulnerable to human disturbance, with the pupping and molting seasons being an especially vulnerable time for harbor seals. Please read the "How You Can Help" section on our Harbor Seals page for more information. Many species of birds migrate from, to, or past Point Reyes during the spring. Tule elk can be seen year-round on Tomales Point. Please visit our Wildlife Viewing page for more information.
Closures to Protect Elephant Seals
NOTICE: The following areas are closed to all entry in order to better protect nursing elephant seal pups:
From December 15 to March 31:
- the southern end of South Point Reyes Beach (as signed) to the Lighthouse;
- the beach from the Chimney Rock Lifeboat Station to Chimney Rock; and
- the road leading from the gate at the end of the Chimney Rock Road to the Fish Dock area, including immediately adjacent beaches. (Map - 301 KB PDF)
From December 1 to March 15:
- Drakes Beach starting approximately 1/2 mile southwest of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and continuing south to the current permanent elephant seal closure.
NOTICE: Drakes Beach Temporary Beach Closure - January 13, 2019, until further notice
A temporary closure of the Drakes Beach area south of the junction of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Drakes Beach Road was implemented in January 2019 after female elephant seals hauled out in the cove in front of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and gave birth to pups. To better protect elephant seals from disturbance, all public use of the area is prohibited, except for from 9 am to 5 pm on weekends and federal holidays when park staff are present.
Interactive Map Illustrating the Locations of the Closures Referenced Above
Closures to Protect Harbor Seals
NOTICE: From March 1 through June 30, an annual recreational closure of Drakes Estero is implemented to protect the harbor seals during their pupping season, a very sensitive time of the year for these pinnipeds. The closure applies to kayak and canoe usage but is applicable to surfers, windsurfers, abalone divers, recreational fishing, and other water sport users around harbor seal colonies in the area. Double Point and the western most point of Limantour Spit are also closed to all human activity during the pupping season. Hog Island in Tomales Bay is closed during this same time period protection of harbor seal pupping areas, as well as for nesting and roosting sea birds such as double-crested cormorants and brown pelicans.
The Bear Valley Visitor Center and the Lighthouse Visitor Center are usually open throughout the year. Since Operational Changes took effect on May 1, 2013, the Lighthouse Visitor Center is now, for most of the year, only open Fridays through Mondays; closed Tuesdays through Thursdays.
Lighthouse Restoration Project Began on Monday, August 6, 2018
On Monday, August 6, 2018, Point Reyes National Seashore began a large restoration project on the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse. This website's 2018 Lighthouse Restoration blog and our social media platforms on Facebook, , and Instagram will keep you up-to-date, so bookmark these and check back in the near future. There will be times when the lighthouse area will be closed to all foot traffic, such as from August 6, 2018, through Sunday, March 31, 2019, and we apologize for that in advance. The necessary improvements will make your future experience even better.
Map of the temporary closure in the Point Reyes Lighthouse Area - Monday, August 6, 2018, through Sunday, March 31, 2018 (315 KB PDF)
The Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays and federal holidays until further notice.
Visitors are invited to join a park ranger to learn more about Point Reyes and its history, wildlife, and/or geology during Ranger's Choice Programs.
The PRNSA Bookstore at Drakes Beach is open Saturdays and Sundays, some Fridays, and most federal holidays (except for Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day) from 11 am to 4:30 pm; closed Mondays through Thursdays, some Fridays, and on Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Drakes Beach Café is indefinitely closed.
If you're looking for more information about what is happening at Point Reyes National Seashore, visit our News Releases page, our Facebook page, and/or feed for the most up-to-date news.
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