Please observe all trail closures and barriers. Trails are closed for a variety of reasons, such as for visitor safety, to protect endangered species, to prevent erosion, and/or to allow new sections of trail to harden. Visitors who disregard trail closures may endanger themselves and any potential rescuers, harm threatened and endangered species, exacerbate erosion, or prevent new sections of trail from properly hardening, which results in the degradation of the trail surface, which in turn may require the closing of the trail for repair. Thank you for your cooperation.
Table of Contents
Trails Blocked by Downed Trees
Storms throughout the year can blow down trees throughout the wooded sections of Point Reyes National Seashore. Please avoid the trails listed below until the downed trees have been cleared. Or, if you do use these trails, don't create new paths to get around any downed trees you encounter; do your best to follow the route of the official trail over, through, or under the downed tree, if it is safe to do so. Walking around downed trees results in the trampling of vegetation and the creation of undesired paths, which can result in increased erosion. Leave No Trace. Thank you for your cooperation in helping better preserve the wildness of your national seashore.
Updated: Monday, January 6, 2020
If you encounter any downed trees, please report them to the Bear Valley Visitor Center (415-464-5100 x2 x5) or to Shawn Maloney (415-464-5154). Please provide as many details as possible, i.e., exact location of the tree on which trail, type of tree (bay, fir, etc.), whether it is bushy or straight, its size and diameter, whether it is on the ground or elevated, whether equestrians can get around it, etc.
If you have recently hiked any of the trails in Point Reyes National Seashore and found the trail conditions other than what is reported here, please email us to let us know. Thanks for your assistance.
Winter storms can result in the flooding of a number of park trails. Please avoid the following trails during the week or so after significant rain storms. Or, if you do use these trails, plan on getting your feet wet. Leave No Trace principles instruct hikers to walk single file in the middle of the trail, even if it is under several inches of water or very muddy. Do not attempt to walk around flooded or muddy areas as doing so results in the trampling of vegetation and the undesired broadening of the width of the trail, which can result in increased erosion. Thank you for your cooperation in helping better preserve the wildness of your national seashore.
The following trails frequently flood during wet winters and springs:
Laguna Trail seasonal flooding
The Laguna Trail currently passes through a number of vernal pools, which consistently fill in the winter and early spring and dry out in the late spring-early summer. The park cannot drain them as they are protected and provide important habitat for a variety of species. The park hopes to ultimately reroute this section of the Laguna Trail to avoid these vernal pools.
Olema Valley Trail seasonal flooding
During the winter and spring, the Olema Valley Trail is often flooded and very muddy in a number of locations and hikers on this trail in the winter and spring may wish to wear or bring along knee-high waterproof boots. There is a ford just south of the Teixeira trail junction at which the water is frequently knee-deep and opaque with silt, the current strong, and the bottom uneven and covered with unstable, loose stones. This section of Olema Valley Trail is subject to seasonal (winter/spring) flooding.
If you plan to hike or ride a trail that leads through cattle pasture, please read Understanding Working Rangelands: Sharing Open Space: What to Expect from Grazing Livestock (1,314 KB PDF). By understanding basic cattle behavior, you can give yourself a better chance to predict how cattle are likely to react to your presence and in response to your actions. This will help make your hike or ride through these areas safer and more enjoyable.
Trails in Point Reyes National Seashore that pass through cattle pasture:
Trails in the northern district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area that pass through cattle pasture:
Coastal Erosion of Trails to Beaches
Please be aware that coastal zones are dynamic areas and can change from one day to the next. Erosion by waves, rockfalls, or landslides occur frequently. As a result, the condition of lower trail sections leading to beaches are likely to change throughout the season. This may result in abrupt drops on loose, steep gravel to get to and from the beach. Although any beach in the park can be affected, McClures Beach and Palomarin Beach are known to have these hazards. Use caution, remember that you'll have to come back up anything that you descend.
Collapse of Bluff near Tomales Point
Another reminder that sea cliffs are hazardous. In January 2017, part of the bluff at the northern end of Tomales Point collapsed. As a result, a section of the Tomales Point Trail is no more. If you plan on hiking to Tomales Point, be aware that additional sections of the cliff are likely to collapse. Small cracks are present in the ground, some several feet from the edge.
If you are hiking anywhere that brings you near cliffs, please be mindful of the hazards. Be aware of your surroundings and stay back from the edge. Many of the cliffs around Point Reyes are unstable and prone to collapse.
Thank you to the visitor that reported this new collapse. Similar to the fissure that formed on top of Arch Rock, visitors discovered these hazards before park staff did. You can help park staff better protect park visitors by contacting the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5, by contacting the park's Dispatch at 415-464-5170, or by sending us an email if you find anything that looks hazardous in the park.
Fissures 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.
Bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. They are prone to crumbling and sliding, especially in wet weather. It is very dangerous to climb or walk along the edge of cliffs. Be aware of falling rocks if walking near the base of a rock face.
Temporary Trail Closures
Please observe these trail closures. Visitors who disregard trail closures may prevent new sections of trail from properly hardening, which results in the degradation of the trail surface, which in turn may require the closing of the trail for further repair. Thank you for your cooperation.
Indefinite or Permanent Trail Closures
Arch Rock Trail:
Alamere Falls "Trail":
Crystal Lake Trail:
Double Point Trail:
Drakes Beach Trail:
West Pasture North Levee:
Trail Leading to Arch Rock is Closed
A portion of the Arch Rock overlook collapsed on Saturday, March 21, 2015, killing one person and injuring another. The Arch Rock Spur Trail and the area leading up to Arch Rock (e.g., the area southwest and west of the junction of the Coast Trail and the Arch Rock Spur Trail) is closed for your safety. The land may still be unstable and further collapse or erosion could occur. The Bear Valley Trail and the Coast Trail in this area remain open.
For your own safety, and to prevent the trampling of vegetation, please remain on park-maintained trails. Bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. They are prone to crumbling and sliding. It is very dangerous to sit, rest, climb, or walk along the edge of cliffs. Be aware of falling rocks if sitting or walking near the base of a rock face. more...
Background on the collapse of Arch Rock
On Thursday, March 19, 2015, an off-duty employee hiking on his day off discovered what he suspected was a new hazardous condition at Arch Rock and reported the hazard to park management. Visible fissures had formed along the top of Arch Rock, indicating that the rock structure underneath had weakened, and, on March 21, 2015, Arch Rock collapsed.
After Arch Rock collapsed, many visitors reported that they had seen the fissure during the March 14, 2015, weekend. But, before March 19, park staff were unaware of this new hazard.
You can help park staff better protect park visitors by contacting the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5 or by sending us an email if you find anything that looks hazardous in the park.
Completed significant trailwork
Bear Valley Trail:
Coast Trail Reopened
The trail had become impassable due to water and mud and presented an unsafe condition for park visitors and was therefore closed on June 1, 2012. Even though the trail is once again open, NPS staff will continue to proceed to acquire all necessary permits for short-term repairs to the trail and also for a permanent fix. This section of Coast Trail is subject to seasonal (winter/spring) flooding.
Muddy Hollow Trail:
Kelham Beach Trail:
Giacomini Wetlands Trails:
Estero Trail - Muddy Hollow Dam Removal:
Last updated: January 6, 2020