Historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station and Cypress Tree Tunnel

A white art deco building used by RCA for wireless radio reception.
The Historic RCA Coast Station KPH.

The Historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station:
Guglielmo Marconi sited and commissioned the building of a wireless telegraphy transmitting station west of Bolinas and a receiving station in Marshall on Tomales Bay in 1913–14. The Marshall station was supplanted in 1929 to support the growing point-to-point business in the Pacific by a new Art Deco-designed facility at Point Reyes Beach on the "G" Ranch. Few of the succeeding generations of antennas—arranged in "farms"—remain at the two sites. However, the radio equipment, ship-to-shore Morse communications, and teletype—some of it dating to the World War II-era—remains intact, has been restored and made functional, and is used to broadcast on numerous frequencies, including KPH. Visit our Communications at Point Reyes page to learn more about this history.

 
Cypress trees lining a driveway leading to the historic RCA building.
The Cypress Tree Tunnel.

The Cypress Tree Tunnel:
Planted around 1930, the Monterey cypress that now create the "tree tunnel" at the Point Reyes Receiving Station is a signature landscape feature that evokes some of the prestige that RCA placed in this profitable, historic operation.

The Receiving Station and "Tree Tunnel" are located at what is now the park's North District Operations Center.

 
A sign reading "North District Operations Center" alongside of a road.
Look for the "North District Operations Center" sign. The tree tunnel is just beyond on the right.

Directions from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to the North District Operation Center and Historic RCA Coast Station KPH
Allow ~25 minutes.

  • From the Bear Valley Visitor Center, head north 0.2 miles (0.3 km) to Bear Valley Road.
  • Turn left and follow Bear Valley Road 1.75 miles (2.8 km) northwest to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
  • Turn left and follow Sir Francis Drake Boulevard 9.5 miles (15.2 km) north and west.
  • Follow road signs for “Lighthouse” until you see a sign for "North District Operation Center."
  • Turn right and follow the road 0.25 miles (0.4 km) north to the parking lot.
 
Automobiles parked on the roots of Monterey cypress trees.
Do not park on the roots of the cypress trees.

Please park in the parking lot on the left (west) at the north end of the driveway (the end closest to the Historic RCA Coast Station KPH). DO NOT PARK ALONG THE DRIVEWAY, ESPECIALLY NOT ON THE ROOTS OF THESE HISTORIC TREES. Since the "tree tunnel" has become extremely popular due to visitors posting about it on social media, more and more visitors are coming to photograph the "tree tunnel." Unfortunately, many visitors have caused damage to the trees by driving across and/or parking on the trees' roots.

Please also be aware that opportunities to use the station's restrooms are limited; they are available from noon until 5 pm on most weekends. Otherwise, the nearest restroom facilities are located at the Estero Trailhead and at North Beach.

 
RCA Radio Operator listening to wireless radio transmission.
Richard Dillman, founder of the Maritime Radio Historical Society, operates the control room at the Bolinas RCA Transmitting Station.

Tour the Historic KPH Receiving Station
Most Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year, Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS) members welcome visitors and provide guided tours of the Historic KPH Receiving Station from noon to 5 pm. Visitors can experience Morse code being sent and received, and even send a radiogram to someone.

Night of Nights
Night of Nights is an annual event held on the 12th of July by the Maritime Radio Historical Society to commemorate the history of maritime radio and the closing of commercial Morse operations in the USA. These on-the-air events are intended to honor the men and women who followed the radiotelegraph trade on ships and at coast stations around the world and made it one of honor and skill. Visit our Night of Nights page or the Maritime Radio Historical Society site for more details about this event.

Feel free to contact the MRHS by email or by calling 415-990-7090 for more information about the weekend tours or about Night of Nights.

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Last updated: January 23, 2017

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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