Trail Advisories and Closures

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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.

Visit our Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore and Trail Guide & Suggested Hikes pages for additional information.

Table of Contents

Trails Blocked by Downed Trees

Flooded Trails

Hazardous Conditions

Temporary Trail Closures

Indefinite or Permanent Trail Closures

Completed Significant Trailwork

 

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 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: Friday, June 15, 2018
The trail crew reports that they are unaware of any trees blocking trails in the park.

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.

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Flooded Trails

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:

  • Bayview Trail - between the Muddy Hollow Road Trail and the Drakesview Trail
  • Estero Trail - in the Glenbrook Creek floodplain
  • Horse Trail - the section that parallels Limantour Road
  • Kehoe Beach Trail
  • Laguna Trail - between the Laguna Trailhead and Fire Lane Trail
  • Muddy Hollow Road Trail - at the Muddy Hollow Creek crossing (just east of the junction with Bayview Trail)
  • Old Out Road Trail
  • Olema Marsh Trail
  • Olema Valley Trail - south of the Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center
  • Teixeira Trail - in the Pine Gulch Creek floodplain

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.

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Hazardous Conditions

 

Cattle

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:

  • Bull Point Trail
  • Drakes Head Trail
  • Estero Trail (northwestern section from the Estero Trailhead to the White Gate Trail Junction
  • Sunset Beach Trail
  • White Gate Trail

Trails in the northern district of Golden Gate National Recreation Area that pass through cattle pasture:

  • Bolinas Ridge Trail
  • Jewell Trail
  • McCurdy Trail
  • Randall Trail
  • Tomales Bay Trail

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Tomales Point Trail ending abruptly where a large section of the bluff collapsed into the Pacific Ocean.
Tomales Point Trail ending abruptly where a large section of the bluff collapsed into the Pacific Ocean in January 2017.

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.

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Photo of a park employee standing over and pointing at a newly developed fissure along the Chimney Rock Trail on December 21, 2015. (Click here to download a higher resolution image of this photograph.)
Photo of a park employee standing over and pointing at a newly developed fissure along the Chimney Rock Trail on December 21, 2015.

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.

View:
Close-up photograph of the fissure. (172 KB jpg)
Photograph of the area with the fissure from the southeast. (117 KB jpg)
Aerial photograph of the location of the fissure marked in yellow. (216 KB jpg)

 

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.

There are no current temporary trail closures in effect.

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Indefinite or Permanent Trail Closures

Arch Rock Trail:
Indefinitely closed. more...

Alamere Falls "Trail":
The old ranch road that led to the top of the falls has not been maintained by the park since the 1970s and has been severely damaged due to winter storms over the years. Hikers may still get to Alamere Falls by hiking to Wildcat Campground and then walking approximately 1600 meters (1 mile) south on the beach at low tide. more...

Crystal Lake Trail:
Permanently closed.

Double Point Trail:
Permanently closed.

Drakes Beach Trail:
Permanently closed. Hikers may still get to the mouth of Drakes Estero by walking east from the Ken Patrick Visitor Center on Drakes Beach at low tides.

West Pasture North Levee:
On September 15, 2008, the informal path along the West Pasture North Levee of the Giacomini Wetlands was permanently closed to allow removal of the levee, adjacent borrow ditch, and the tidegates/culverts on Fish Hatchery Creek.

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Aerial view of the rubble after Arch Rock collapsed on March 21, 2015. (Click here to view a higher resolution image of this photograph.)
The collapsed Arch Rock. Photo taken on March 21, 2015. from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office's Henry One helicopter.

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 area leading up to Arch Rock is closed for your safety. The land may still be unstable and further collapse or erosion could occur.

New hazardous conditions on Arch Rock were reported to the park on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Fissures along the top of Arch Rock had weakened the cliff. Bluffs along the California coast are inherently unstable. They are prone to crumbling and sliding. 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.

 
Side by side images of fissure that formed on top of Arch Rock in March 2015.
(L) View of new fissure from the north. (R) View of fissure from the south end of Arch Rock.
Looking south along the fissure on Arch Rock that developed a week or so before Arch Rock collapsed on March 21, 2015. (Click on the image for a higher resolution image).Looking north along the fissure on Arch Rock that developed a week or so before Arch Rock collapsed on March 21, 2015. (Click on the image for a higher resolution image).

After Arch Rock collapsed, many visitors reported that they had seen the fissure during the March 14, 2015, weekend. But no one reported this new hazard to park staff. Five days later, an off-duty employee hiking on his day off discovered the fissure and reported the hazard to park management.

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

Woodpecker Trail:
The Woodpecker Trail was closed from July 14, 2015, until May 9, 2016, in order to to maintain public health and safety due to the presence of hazard trees (trees that have started to fall but didn't completely fall to the ground). Use of the trail by anyone was deemed unsafe until these hazards were mitigated. The first section of the trail was re-routed around the copse of trees at the start of the trail.

Woodpecker Trail:
The Woodpecker Trail was closed in early June 2013 in order to install new stairs and repair portions of the trail.

Bear Valley Trail:
The Bear Valley Trail between the Mt. Wittenberg and Meadow trail junctions was closed from Monday, September 17, 2012, through the morning of Wednesday, October 3, 2012, in order to install a new culvert and repair the trail. The repairs came in under budget and ahead of schedule, so the trail was reopened on Wednesday, October 3, instead of on Saturday, October 6.

 
The Coast Trail ~1 mile south of the Hostel on August 24, 2012, after floodwaters had retreated.
Coast Trail ~1 mile south of the Hostel on August 24, 2012.

Coast Trail Reopened
As of June 19, 2012, the water which had been flooding the Coast Trail between the Point Reyes Hostel and the Coast Campground had drained away and the trail is now open.

 
Water flooding across the Coast Trail ~1 mile south of the Hostel on January 23, 2012.
Coast Trail ~1 mile south of the Hostel on January 23, 2012.

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:
As of late May 2011, the Muddy Hollow Trail, having been rerouted out of the valley's floodplain, is now open to the public.

Greenpicker Trail:
The reroute of a 1.1 km (0.7 mile) section from Fir Top to the Stewart Trail/Ridge Trail junction was completed in late May 2009 and this section of the Greenpicker trail is now open to the public.

Kelham Beach Trail:
The repairs to the Kelham Beach Trail were completed on September 4, 2009. The access trail to the beach is now open to the public.

Giacomini Wetlands Trails:
Restoration work required the temporary closure of a couple trails at the south end of the Giacomini Wetlands. As of March 2, 2009, both the Olema Marsh Trail on the east side of Olema Marsh and the Lagunitas Creek Trail are open. We ask that users please stay on designated trails to reduce impacts to areas actively being restored for critical wildlife habitat. More information about trail closures may be found in the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project: Restoration pages.

Estero Trail - Muddy Hollow Dam Removal:
The Muddy Hollow Dam removal—which occurred between August 1 through October 31, 2008—resulted in the rerouting of the southeastern section of the Estero Trail. The new section of the Estero Trail was opened to the public on August 1, 2008. The eastern trailhead for the Estero Trail is now at the Muddy Hollow Road Trailhead, instead of at Limantour Beach. Please visit our Coastal Watershed Restoration Program Construction Updates page for more information.

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Last updated: June 15, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Phone:

(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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