Last updated: Friday, February 12, 2021
Areas closed to all visitors due to the Woodward Fire.
On Monday, August 17, 2020, lightning started a wildfire, which was named the 4-5 Fire, north of the junction of Woodward Valley Trail and the Coast Trail. On Tuesday, August 18, a second fire, initially named the 4-6 Fire and later renamed the Woodward Fire, was found nearby and, aided by gusty winds, quickly grew in size. By Friday, October 9, the Woodward Fire was 100% contained at 4,929 acres in size.
Ecologists consider the Woodward Fire to be ecologically beneficial because it had a mix of burn severity. That means it burned with high intensity in some places, and other places it burned lightly. This type of burn is in contrast with some of our larger, hotter fires that consume everything in its path.
We expect that fuels in the interior area of the fire will continue to burn until the park receives substantial rainfall. The fuels that continue to burn are large tree trunks, stump holes, and other areas with smoldering fuels that are very difficult to access. These areas may occasionally produce light smoke, but are of no threat to the containment lines.
The park has closed areas that are within and close to the fire footprint. There are several reasons why this area is closed. First, the area has yet to be thoroughly assessed for hazard trees. These are trees that have been burned and pose a falling threat to hikers. Second, trails have yet to be completely cleared of debris and rehabilitated. Park staff are currently working to repair trails and fix drainage structures on the trails within the burn area. These repairs leave fresh disturbed soils on the trails with minimal compaction. Any foot, bicycle, or equestrian traffic at this time damages—or can even destroy—these newly rebuilt drainage structures. Natural wetting and drying out of the soil will give us the compaction we need for long-term durability, but the soils need to remain undisturbed after park staff finish their work so that natural compaction process can happen. We ask for your patience as we work to improve the trails within the Woodward Fire zone.
The park remains hopeful that the closed area will be opened to the public this spring. That is, if hazard trees have been removed and the hiking trails are safe for travel and have sufficiently hardened.
Safety reminder: Park visitors and area residents are asked to be mindful of park closures described below that remain in effect. While it might not look dangerous, if you were to go into a closed area, and something were to happen to you and you required assistance, everyone entering the area to assist you might be put in harm's way. Thank you for your continued patience during this extraordinary time!
Most of the area and most trails south of Limantour Road and Bear Valley Road, west of Bear Valley Access Road and Rift Zone Trail, and north of Stewart Trail are closed to all visitor access until further notice. (Exceptions are listed below.) These areas and trails include, but are not limited to:
Visitors are welcome to walk southeast on Limantour Beach. Be aware that all areas above the beach's vegetation line from Coast Campground to Wildcat Campground are closed to all access until further notice, including Sculptured Beach Trail, Kelham Beach Trail, and Kelham Beach.
The following roads and trails south of Limantour Road and Bear Valley Road, west of Bear Valley Access Road and Rift Zone Trail, and north of Stewart Trail are open:
On Friday, October 23, 2020, the Bear Valley parking lot, Bear Valley Picnic Area, the Earthquake Trail, and the Rift Zone Trail were reopened.
Respect the Closures
Fire-related activity continues. Hazardous conditions exist. Conditions can change rapidly. Please visit these areas of Point Reyes National Seashore at a later, safer time in the future.
Download a map indicating the areas and trails that are closed until further notice due to the Woodward Fire. (4,160 KB PDF)
Visit our Woodward Fire - August 2020 page for more information.
Temporary facilities closures are in effect until further notice.
In addition to the areas listed above, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health officials, the following areas, buildings, and roads are closed until further notice:
More information and details may be found below.
Status of frequently used visitor facilities and services
On January 6, 2021, the California Department of Public Health updated its Travel Advisory for Non-Essential Travel, which includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California. All persons arriving in or returning to California from other states or countries should practice self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival. Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one's place of residence, or to other states or countries. Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California.
If you do decide to visit Point Reyes
Please practice caution in deciding when to leave your home and for what purpose. The virus is present in our community, and even people without symptoms can have COVID-19 and give it to others. We can all help protect the people we live, work, and interact with so they don't get the virus. If you are feeling sick, please stay home. When coming to the park:
Visit our Recreate Responsibly page for guidelines for responsible recreation in the outdoors at Point Reyes and other park lands during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Updates will be posted to this park website and social media channels. For more information, please see Marin County's current public health orders and Frequently Asked Questions and California's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website.
Carry out what you carry in.
Please help us protect public health by taking your trash home. Leave No Trace.
South Beach Access Road is closed to all traffic (i.e., motor vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, etc.) until further notice due to road work.
Drakes Beach Road Temporary Closure is in Effect until Further Notice
To better ensure the safety of visitors and elephant seals, Drakes Beach Road south of its intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is closed daily between 5 pm and 9 am, and will remain closed all day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Drakes Beach Road and the parking lot will be open for elephant seal viewing from 9 am until 5 pm, Fridays through Mondays. Access may change based upon elephant seal activity. This closure applies to all visitor use, including pedestrians and bicycles. Citations will be issued to individuals and vehicles found south of the road closure during the times the area is closed.
Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Managed Access
On weekends and federal holidays, access to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas (aka, the Headlands) will be managed beyond the intersection of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and Drakes Beach Road in an effort to ensure visitor and staff safety by reducing the number of people at these otherwise crowded locations. During your visit, please read any and all advisory signs you may encounter along the way. We request your patience. Our goal is to help you have a safe visit, so please stay physically distant from anyone outside of your household and wear a face covering.
Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Road Work
On Monday, April 20, 2020, contractors began work on a major two-year road improvement project in Point Reyes National Seashore. To better ensure the safety of road crew and visitors, time-limited delays and some road and/or area closures are expected through the duration of the project.
Update: Friday, February 12, 2021
South Beach Road and Parking Lot Closure
Update: Friday, February 12, 2021
Limantour Road Work
Road work has largely been postponed due to winter rains. In the spring of 2021 (dates have yet to be determined), road work on Limantour Road is anticipated to resume, initially focusing on paving the repaired slide area north of the Laguna Road junction and on additional culvert work. Visitors traveling along Limantour Road may encounter delays due to road work. The delays should last no more than 15 minutes. Drivers are urged to drive slowly through the work zone for the safety of the work crews, and to reduce the risk of damaging vehicles—especially those with low clearance—due to potholes, loose rocks, or other loose materials.
Drake Beach Parking Lot
The next significant phase of road work will be deconstruction of the western part of the parking lot at Drakes Beach to restore the historic wetland, which will result in the reconfiguring of the parking lot. This phase is expected to begin in the spring of 2021.
The park has requested that the contractor schedule work in a way to avoid concurrent impacts to Limantour, Drakes, and South beaches. More information about these projects will be provided here and above as it becomes available.
The Old Tocaloma/Platform Bridge is closed to all vehicular traffic until further notice. The Old Tocaloma/Platform Bridge is the old concrete bridge paralleling Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near its junction with Platform Bridge Road ~two miles east of Olema. The bridge is being closed to vehicular traffic due to structural deficiencies that make the weight of a vehicle unsafe to cross over the bridge.
Additional Sources for Road Conditions
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 Point Reyes National Seashore's Twitter feed, the National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area's Twitter feed, the Marin County Department of Public Works' Twitter feed, the Marin Sheriff Department's Twitter feed, the Marin Fire Department's Twitter feed, the California Highway Patrol: Marin's Twitter feed, 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.
Visit our Trail Advisories and Closures page for the latest trail updates.
Notice: Most of the area and most trails south of Limantour Road and Bear Valley Road, west of Bear Valley Access Road and Rift Zone Trail, and north of Stewart Trail are closed to all visitor access until further notice due to the Woodward Fire. Please consult the Woodward Fire section above on this page for specific details.
Caution: Many trails in the park are overgrown with grass and annuals. The park's trail crew is working to address the trail conditions as quickly as possible, but please anticipate wading through vegetation as you hike, and check yourself for ticks during and after your hike.
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
A Risk Reduction Order is in place for Marin County until further notice. Please help do your part to slow the spread of the coronavirus by staying close to home; if you do visit Point Reyes, please maintain at least six feet of physical distance. Individuals engaged in outdoor exercise, such as walking, hiking, running, or bicycling, are not required to wear a face covering, but should carry one with them and must wear a facial covering when interacting with others who are not members of their household in public and private spaces if they cannot practice physical distancing.
Visit our Recreate Responsibly page for guidelines for responsible recreation in the outdoors at Point Reyes and other park lands during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In winter, there are plenty of opportunities to see a wide range of animals. Some elephant seal females are giving birth and nursing their pups, while those that gave birth over a month ago are weaning their pups. Bull elephant seals are battling for dominance of beaches near Chimney Rock. Gray whales are migrating past the point on their way from the Bering and Chukchi seas to their calf-rearing lagoons of Baja California. By mid-February, males and newly pregnant female gray whales start heading back north. 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: Drakes Beach Elephant Seal Colony - year-round
NOTICE: The following areas are closed to all entry in order to better protect nursing elephant seal pups:
From December 15 to March 31:
NOTICE: Drakes Beach and Drakes Beach Road Temporary Closures
Drakes Beach Road and the parking lot will be open for elephant seal viewing from 9 am until 5 pm, Fridays through Mondays, when park staff are present. Access may change based upon elephant seal activity.
Interactive Map Illustrating the Locations of the Elephant Seal-related Closures Referenced Above
Following guidance from the CDC and public health officials, and to comply with county-wide public health legal orders, all park visitor centers and bookstores are closed and all ranger programs are cancelled until further notice.
Visit our Operating Hours and Seasons to learn what hours these visitor centers are normally open.
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.
Bookstores - Closed until further notice
Stop by one of the three bookstores within the national seashore, all of which are operated by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA). They offer many educational and convenience items, including books, maps, snacks, and, at Drakes Beach, coffee.
The Bear Valley Visitor Center and Lighthouse Visitor Center bookstores share the same hours of operations as the visitor centers.
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.
Visit our Operating Hours & Seasons page for specific hours.
Drakes Beach Café is indefinitely closed.
Last updated: February 24, 2021