Although most visitors consider Point Reyes National Seashore to be primarily a park at which to enjoy the outdoors, there are three Visitor Centers in which one can find shelter and learn more about Point Reyes during inclement weather. In the Visitor Centers, one will find informative exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the Point Reyes area. Please see our Visitor Centers page to learn more about the Bear Valley, Kenneth C. Patrick and Lighthouse Visitor Centers. Visitors are invited to attend ranger-led programs, some of which are offered in the Bear Valley Visitor Center's auditorium, including those that are presented using the Science on a Sphere®. Visitors may also request and view a number of audio-visual programs at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. And, prior to 2017, visitors with an appointment were welcome to check out the artwork that is on display in the Red Barn Classroom.
During inclement weather, visitors may also wish to visit the Jack Mason Museum in Inverness or the Bolinas Museum in Bolinas. There are also numerous art galleries in the vicinity.
Bear Valley Visitor Center Auditorium Programs
Audio-visual programs are shown on request, provided the video will conclude by closing time. Inquire at the desk about additional offerings.
Point Reyes: The Point of Kings - Produced in 2005 in partnership with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and Discovery Channel, this film captures the majestic beauty and diverse landscape of the Point Reyes National Seashore, explores the practices and culture of its various inhabitants, and chronicles how local conservation efforts have evolved over time. (16 minute video)
Welcome to Kule Loklo - Kule Loklo is a replica Coast Miwok Indian village that gives the visitor the opportunity to learn about the culture of the original inhabitants of the Point Reyes peninsula. This film is designed to enhance one's visit to the village. (20 minute video)
Rebels With A Cause - Preview of Kenji Yamamoto and Nancy Kelly's full-length documentary of the same name which documented the efforts of garden clubs, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, politicians from both parties, widows, and volunteers working together through compromise and negotiation to protect the lands that became Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. (22 minute video)
This is America - Preview of Ken Burns' 12-hour mini-series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, which documented the history of the U.S. National Parks system and was broadcast on PBS in September 2009. (45 minute video)
Cordell Bank: Blue Water Oasis - Cordell Bank is a unique ocean hotspot off the Marin county coast off California. It has been protected as a National Marine Sanctuary under NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program. Dive in to see the biological riches this unique, offshore, and mostly inaccessible ocean hotspot offers for wildlife from all around the Pacific Ocean. (15 minute video)
A Sheltered Sea - The Journey of the California Marine Life Protection Act - Winner for best Ocean Conservation film at the 2009 Blue Ocean Film Festival, this film illuminates the pioneering conservation action of the marine life protection act as it creates the first statewide network of marine protected areas in the United States. (23 minute video)
Marin on Fire: Preparing for the next urban wildfire - FIRESafe MARIN's 2007 award winning video series, narrated by Peter Coyote, describes the unique conditions that make Marin County susceptible to wildfire, and the concrete actions residents and neighbors can take to mitigate hazards and control their risk. (26 minute video)
Attend a presentation of the park's Science On a Sphere® (SOS) at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. SOS presentations may be offered as a "Ranger's Choice" program at 1:30 pm on weekends throughout the year and on weekdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Check the program schedule on our Schedule of Events: Weekend Ranger Programs page, or stop by or call the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5 to learn when the next SOS program will be offered. We also have a variety of SOS films which can be viewed at other times of the day.
Science On a Sphere® is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed SOS® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.
In 2003, Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) established the art gallery in the Red Barn Classroom at Point Reyes National Seashore. Rotating painting, photography, and educational exhibits were on display throughout the year. Themes of the selected shows reflected the natural or cultural aspects of the Seashore and surrounding area. PRNSA sponsored the Art Exhibitions and handled all art show sales, a portion of which supported the Point Reyes National Seashore Museum and Archives Research Services.
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.