Point Reyes is located along the west coast of California approximately thirty miles (fifty km) north of San Francisco off of Highway 1 (see Maps). Travelers may approach the park from the winding scenic Highway 1, either northbound or southbound. Visitors can also reach the park via Sir Francis Drake Boulevard or the Point Reyes-Petaluma Road.
Below are directions for the quickest routes to Point Reyes National Seashore's Bear Valley Visitor Center from San Francisco, the East Bay, Sacramento, and Petaluma. For directions from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to points of interest and trailheads within Point Reyes National Seashore, please visit our Directions to Park Destinations page.
Parking at Bear Valley
On weekends and holidays, the paved parking lot adjacent to the Bear Valley Visitor Center can fill early, especially if visitors who are spending more than thirty minutes in the Bear Valley area park in the paved lot. To help reduce traffic congestion in the paved parking lot, day hikers, backpackers, and other visitors who will be spending an extended period of time (i.e., more than thirty minutes) in the Bear Valley area are encouraged to park their vehicles in the gravel parking lot on the left (east) side of the access road close to the Bear Valley Trailhead. (Download the Bear Valley Area Map [504 KB PDF])
The Headlands Shuttle Bus System
NOTE: On weekends and holidays from late December through mid-April, when visitation to the Point Reyes Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas is heavy, visitors may be required to ride a shuttle bus from Drakes Beach to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas.
Other Useful Information
Road Closures in Point Reyes National Seashore
Directions from San Francisco
Directions from the East Bay (San Francisco Bay Area)
Directions from Sacramento
Directions from Petaluma
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Do you plan to travel to the park in an alternative fuel vehicle? If so, good for you! Your actions help us reduce petroleum use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to anthropogenic climate change. Plan your trip with the Alternative Fueling Station Locator from the Department of Energy (search on zip code 94956) and visit our Electric Vehicle Charging Stations page to learn where you can charge your vehicle within Point Reyes National seashore.
RVs and Trailers
Some of the park's roads and parking lots are closed to or do not have space for recreational vehicles (RVs) and vehicles pulling trailers. While there may appear to be sufficient parking space early in the morning at some of the smaller parking lots, the parking lot can quickly fill. On a number of occasions, RV drivers have parked in a lot and by the time the driver returned to depart, the parking lot was full and there wasn't sufficient room to maneuver the RV out of the parking lot without damaging other vehicles. Not until much later, after the parking spots adjacent to and in front of the RV were cleared, was the driver of the RV able to safely get the RV out of the parking space and out of the lot. Some visitors who arrived during this time and were told by the driver of the RV (and later by park staff) that they couldn't park in the parking lot, even though there were parking spaces apparently available, weren't too happy.
If you are traveling with a trailer or are driving an RV towing a passenger vehicle, consider unhitching at the bus/RV/trailer-only parking lot at Bear Valley and taking only the passenger vehicle for the drive out to the Lighthouse area.
Overnight parking/camping in RVs and trailers is prohibited throughout Point Reyes National Seashore. Visit our Nearby Campgrounds page for alternatives.
Last updated: June 17, 2021