Park Brochure

On this page, you will find versions of Point Reyes National Seashore's official park brochure map in PDF, braille, and audio description (as downloadable audio files and as text-only). If you are looking for other maps of Point Reyes National Seashore, please visit our Maps page.

Official Park Brochure Map

Download the Official Park Brochure Map. (8,511 KB PDF)

Request a paper copy of the park brochure map be mailed to you.

Braille Version

A braille version of the park brochure map can be accessed two ways.

Audio-Described Version

An audio described version of the brochure can be accessed three ways.

  1. Download the UniDescription app, which includes all park brochures that have been audio described under the UniDescription partnership project with the University of Hawaii. The app is free and available on the iOS platform and Android platform.
  2. Download a folder of audio files (11 MB Zip). Open the files in your preferred mp3 player to listen to each section of the brochure.
  3. Access the text version that follows.

Audio Description Version (text only)

Below is a text-only version of Point Reyes National Seashore's official (aka Unigrid) map/brochure. This version is compatable with most screen reader software.

OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure

Welcome to the audio-described version of Point Reyes National Seashore's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of illustrations, maps, and a photograph, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Point Reyes National Seashore visitors receive. The brochure explores the natural and cultural history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 30 minutes and has been divided into sections as a way to improve the listening experience. The front page includes an introduction to the park with an illustration of a wildlife-filled view from Inverness Ridge looking toward the Point Reyes Headlands. The back page has three text blocks and a map of the park.

OVERVIEW: Point Reyes National Seashore

Description: Point Reyes National Seashore, located in California, is part of the National Park Service, which is a bureau within the Department of the Interior. The 71,055-acre park is located in Marin County along the Pacific coast. This park, authorized in 1962 and established in 1972, is a relatively young addition to the National Park system. Each year, nearly 2.5 million visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at the Seashore. We invite you to explore the park's forests, coastal scrub, coastal grasslands, dunes, and beaches, as well as its historic landscapes and buildings. Here at the park, reaching the Phillip Burton Wilderness and solitude are just minutes away from multiple trailheads. Listen to the crashing waves while feeling sand between your toes. Visit one of three visitor centers to learn more about the park. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, visit the 'Accessibility' and 'More Information' sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.

OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure

Description: This is the front of the park brochure. A black bar spans the top of the brochure with Point Reyes in large white type and the National Park Service arrowhead logo. An illustration by Larry Eifert depicting a wildlife-filled view of the Point Reyes peninsula from Inverness Ridge fills the page. Along the top of the illustration is text that provides a brief introduction to the park (see next section).

Illustration of a Wildlife-filled View of the Point Reyes Peninsula from Inverness Ridge
Description:

The imagined scene by Larry Eifert shows the broad range of Point Reyes’ habitats: ocean, shore, estuary, grasslands, upland forest. This scene will be described in quadrants starting with the upper left.

The upper left quadrant of this scene is mostly water in Drakes Bay. The upper left portion of the image has a point of land which hooks around to the right and finally comes to rest in the bottom left of the image. The peninsula that sticks out in the upper left depicts where the Lighthouse is located. That peninsula juts out ten miles into the ocean. Within its embracing hug, lies the relaxing, calm blue waters of Drakes Bay. Gulls fly overhead on the cool, moist breezes softly blowing off of the ocean. A group of 14 brown pelicans point their heavy bills down to cruise just inches above the water where six gray whales are spouting. On the right side of this scene is a system of salt marshes with a sand spit between the marshes and the bay water. Within the marsh are two people paddling with kayaks.

Moving to the upper right quadrant and moving from the water onto land, sloping grasslands turn into heavier vegetation with bushes and finally, further upslope, the Douglas fir and Bishop pine forests of the Inverness Ridge tower over everything else. The grasslands are home to several species of raptors flying overhead including the red-shouldered hawk, who flashes its black and white patterned wing and tail feathers in flight. Also hovering like its name suggests, a white-tailed kite looks over the grasslands for its next meal. In the lower section of the upper right quadrant, two northern flickers, a type of woodpecker with red-orange colored underwing and tail feathers, are flying into the forest, which shows a close up of two large Douglas fir trees with their deeply grooved bark, and multiple branches going in many directions. One branch is fit for a perch for a great horned owl.

In the lower left quadrant of the scene, the typical renewal of spring wildflowers brings the grasslands and forest edge to life. Moving from the edge of the cliffs where you can see two elephant seals resting on the beach below, a coyote howls for some unknown reason as a peregrine falcon, with very pointed wings, soars quickly by using the winds off the water rushing up the hillside. Walking into the scene from the left, a bobcat looks at you as it approaches some warm, orange California poppies and dreamy Douglas irises, with their purple flowers. The upper part of this quadrant shows two hikers off in the distance, going downhill from the forest towards the water. Cheerful tufts of yellow lupine bushes dot the hillside throughout this quadrant. Moving further upslope in this quadrant, a fallen log becomes a perch for the ever-vigilant California quail. With the sentry bird in the group always calling out with his call of "Chicago, Chicago," alerting others in the group to be aware of their surroundings. Good thing since a gray fox hiding behind the lupine bush has its eyes on the quail, but he may just leave them alone. The fallen log moves into the final quadrant.

Finally, in the lower right quadrant of the scene, the continuation of the lower left quadrant and forested details come to life even more. The log and assorted branches are also perches for the spotted towhee, with its reddish breast, black back with white spots and deep red eye, whose sharp, one-note call is audible while it looks for insects, and a striped skunk with its black and white lines running from head to tail, scratches the earth for the same prize. The decayed branches without leaves that stand about four feet from the ground become safer perches for species like the Western meadowlark, a robust bird with a heavy bill, who has a brilliant and confident yellow neck and breast and black colored vee shaped feathers below its throat. Also in this quadrant, one can see both Tooly elk and black-tailed deer grazing on soft, green grasses. The white, umbrella-shaped tops of the cow parsnip plants are sources of food for birds such as the bright yellow American goldfinch, and red and blue colors of the Western bluebird. In the understory of the brush are a coiled up Western garter snake surrounded by the purple clusters of the ceanothus bush.

Text on Front Page:

At Point Reyes National Seashore, you will discover a wide range of habitats: ocean, shore, estuarine, grassland, and upland forest. Each provides for a variety of species, including Sonoma alopecurus, Myrtle’s silverspot, tidewater goby, Central California coho salmon, and red-legged frog. From whales to shorebirds, many animals migrate through the seashore seasonally or, like northern elephant seals, use the beaches for breeding or nesting.

People are drawn to these lands and waters too. The Coast Miwok people were here thousands of years before the first English explorers arrived in 1579. Over the centuries came waves of settlers seeking to make a life here. By the 1800s this land was used primarily for hunting and ranching. Once overhunted to near-extinction, tule elk again roam the seashore. The Point Reyes Lighthouse (left), built in 1870, is evidence of the area’s maritime history, including US Coast Guard lifesaving operations and radio communications.

Amid this beauty and bounty, people and nature share a complex relationship. By the mid-1900s the seashore was threatened by the desire of developers to encroach upon relatively undeveloped coastline areas. Conservation organizations, often led by women, fought to protect it. In 1962 Congress authorized Point Reyes National Seashore.

Today, the seashore is a haven for the human spirit—a place to explore, be inspired, find solitude, enjoy recreation, and rejuvenate. A place of protected wilderness and preserved pastoral zones. An outdoor classroom and laboratory. Here, we protect things essential to all of us and are reminded of our personal connections to the natural world.

OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure

IMAGE: Point Reyes Headlands
Description

This aerial, color photograph of Chimney Rock by Tony Immoos shows the rough and wave-battering force of the Pacific Ocean on the left side and calm waters of Drakes Bay on the right. The sun is setting in the upper left corner of the image and the sky is surrounded by very dark and ominous clouds. The bluff is very rugged, has steep, rocky slopes, and is topped with green grass. The ocean-facing slopes appear to have been scooped out like a person's hand digging down deep in the sand.

OVERVIEW: Shifting Ground

A text block with information about the San Andreas Fault with two maps.

Map: The San Andreas Fault.

Description: A simple inset map of California, oriented with north at the top. The cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles are marked by black dots. A red line labeled "San Andreas Fault" follows the northern California coastline before cutting further inland just south of San Francisco and passing from California into Mexico in the eastern half of California's southern border. A green rectangle just northwest of San Francisco is labeled "Area shown at left," indicating the next map that will be described.

Map: Detail of San Andreas Fault at Point Reyes.

Description: This inset map, oriented with north at the top, shows the San Andreas Fault Zone and how it separates the triangular-shaped Point Reyes peninsula from the rest of California. The San Andreas Fault runs from the northwest corner of the map to the southeast corner. The scale of this map only shows a small 30 mile Point Reyes section of the entire 800 mile long San Andreas Fault. Point Reyes is on the west side of the fault, riding on the Pacific tectonic plate. To the east of the fault zone is the North American Plate. An arrow on the Point Reyes peninsula indicates the relative motion of the Pacific Plate is toward the northwest. An arrow on the North American Plate indicates that this section of California is moving toward the west-southwest.

Text:

Plate tectonics affects the rocks along the seashore. Plates are sections of Earth’s crust that “float” on molten rock. The Point Reyes peninsula rides on the eastern edge of the Pacific Plate, which slides northwestward at a rate of one or two inches per year.

Separating the Point Reyes peninsula from the mainland is a long, narrow valley that lies directly over an important geological zone: the San Andreas Fault. A fault is a fracture or zone of fractures between two blocks of rock. Faults allow the blocks to move relative to each other. In the Point Reyes area, many large and small faults run parallel, and sometimes at odd angles, to one another.

Plates do not move freely. They “catch” on each other and, over many years, the pressure builds up. Eventually, the underlying rock breaks loose in a sudden jolt. This happened to the peninsula during the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake: It shifted northwestward 20 feet in less than a minute. This could happen again—in 30 minutes or 300 years.

Because of plate tectonics, Point Reyes’ rocks match those hundreds of miles southeast of here! To learn more, visit the Earthquake Trail.

OVERVIEW: Protecting Ocean Habitat

A text block with information about the the marine ecosystems surrounding Point Reyes with a map.

Map: National Marine Sanctuaries Near Point Reyes.

Description: This map, orientedwith north at the top, shows three national marine sanctuaries off of the California coastline adjacent to Point Reyes. From north to south they are Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones, and Monterey Bay. The three marine sanctuaries cover this section of the California coast for about 50 miles north to south, and 30 miles offshore. Cordell Bank is completely offshore, while the Greater Farallones surrounds all of Point Reyes. Monterey Bay national marine sanctuary is south of the Point Reyes area.

Text:

This portion of the California coast is one of Earth's most biologically rich areas. Like land, the ocean has varied habitats—influenced by temperature, sunlight, currents, and topography—that support an abundance of life.

Spring and summer upwellings from the California Current carry nutrients to surface waters. These nutrients are the foundation of a food web that includes everything from tiny plankton to huge whales. Migrating whales feast at the edge of the continental shelf. Gray whales often swim quite close to the Point Reyes shore to feed in winter and spring.

State and federal laws help protect Point Reyes and surrounding waters due to their global significance. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS), administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, conserve habitats and species while allowing for compatible human use.

Cordell Bank NMS protects a rocky reef perched on the edge of the continental shelf. Surrounded by soft mud and sand, the hard-surfaced bank is a haven for colorful fish and invertebrates.

Greater Farallones NMS protects rocky reefs, estuarine wetlands, and open ocean. Endangered and threatened species, including blue and humpback whales, seasonally feed in this rich environment.

The state of California administers a network of Marine Protected Areas along the Point Reyes coast. Some of these areas allow limited sport fishing and commercial harvest; others do not. For detailed information and regulations, visit the park website.

OVERVIEW: Explore Point Reyes

A detailed map of Point Reyes National Seashore and information about places to go, things to do, safety, and contact information.

Map: Point Reyes National Seashore.

Description: This map is primarily for orientation. The map is oriented with north at the top. It shows the entire Point Reyes National Seashore which is shaped like a triangle, and shows all of the roads, 150 miles of trails, and 80 miles of shoreline and beaches. Starting in the center hub of the map is the Bear Valley Visitor Center. In a clockwise direction from there, Highway One goes south to a couple of small trailheads. From Bear Valley, two roads head north, one is Sir Francis Drake, where 23 miles later you reach the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse and pass numerous beaches along the way. But just one mile from Bear Valley is Limantour Road which takes you to Limantour Beach only eight miles away. A tactile version of this map is on display in the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

Map Warning Messages

High Tide: Check tide tables before walking on beaches. Rising water can trap you against a cliff with no possibility of escape.

Heavy Surf: The pounding surf, rip currents, and severe undertow are treacherous, especially at McClures Beach, Kehoe Beach, and Point Reyes Beaches North and South. Stay away from the water.

Drakes Beach, Limantour Beach: No lifeguard on duty.

Danger! Steep Cliffs: Point Reyes’ cliffs crumble and slide, and rocks fall. Keep away! Do not climb or walk near the edge or below cliffs.

Map Notes:
  • Park boundary extends ¼ mile from shore.
  • Bear Valley Visitor Center: Park headquarters (details follow).
  • Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center (hours vary).
  • Lighthouse Visitor Center (closed Tue-Thu).
Map: Bear Valley Area

Description: This inset map of the Bear Valley area at park headquarters is used for orientation, and shows the immediate area around the Bear Valley Visitor Center. The map is oriented with north at the top. It includes the visitor center in the middle then shows, in a clockwise direction from due east of the visitor center, the self-guided Earthquake Trail loop, the Woodpecker Trail, the Morgan Horse Ranch, and the trail to the Indian village, Kule Loklo. The self-guided Earthquake Trail loop is paved but parts are slightly steeper than advised by accessibility standards. The visitor center has accessible restrooms, a tactile map, and wheelchair accessible exhibits. Outside of the visitor center, on or near the bulletin board, are several accessible parking spaces, an accessible phone, a water fountain, and additional park information.

The entrance to the Bear Valley area is off of Bear Valley Road.

Text:
Places To Go

Bear Valley Visitor Center
Stop here first for exhibits and information to help you plan your visit.

Point Reyes Beach (Great Beach)
Explore an 11-mile expanse of the Pacific shoreline. Be careful along the water’s edge! High surf, rip currents, and “sneaker” waves can be deadly. Area is subject to severe undertow.

Point Reyes Lighthouse
Enjoy views of Point Reyes Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Go down 313 steps to the light house. Watch for migrating gray whales from the observation platform in winter and spring.

Giacomini Wetlands
Enjoy birding along the 1.7-mile trail to the restored wetlands. Find native wildflowers in spring. Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Drakes Beach
Enjoy a sheltered beach by sandstone cliffs. Explore visitor center exhibits about marine life, fossils, and maritime history. The adjacent store has books, postcards, and convenience foods for sale.

Limantour Beach
Take a beachside stroll or fly a kite. Try birding nearby at Estero de Limantour.

Mount Vision Overlook
View most of the Point Reyes peninsula from Mount Vision (1,282 feet).

Tule Elk Reserve
Hunted to near-extinction in the 1800s, tule elk were reintroduced to this designated wilderness in 1978.

Historic Pierce Point Ranch
Established in the 1860s, this dairy ranch operated until 1973. Take the short trail down to McClures Beach.

Chimney Rock
Watch elephant seals breed and molt on the beach. Find native wildflowers in spring.

Abbotts Lagoon
Hike the 1½-mile trail to diverse bird habitat. Nesting area for threatened snowy plover.

Tomales Bay State Park
Enjoy a swimming beach, kayaking, trails, and a picnic area.

Hiking

The park's 150 miles of trails pass through grasslands, forest-covered ridges, and valleys filled with California bay laurel. Check trail conditions and get detailed trail maps at park visitor centers.

Camping

Camp at four hike-in campgrounds: Coast, Glen, Sky, and Wildcat. Note: Permits are required. Make your advance reservations at www.recreation.gov. Get your permit before you go to the campground.

Protect Your Park; Keep It Safe

Federal laws protect all natural and cultural features in the park. Do not approach or collect injured or oiled marine mammals or birds; report these to park staff.

Sneaker waves and treacherous currents make beaches dangerous.

There are no lifeguards on beaches at the national seashore.

Many ranches within the park are in a pastoral zone and operate under agreements with the National Park Service. Please respect their privacy and that of residential housing units within the park.

Practice Leave No Trace principles.

Visit the park website for a full list of regulations, including firearms.

Emergencies call 911

Accessibility

We strive to make facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For information go to a visitor center, ask a ranger, or check the park website.

Wilderness

Established in 1976, the Phillip Burton Wilderness ensures the highest level of protection for over 32,000 acres of land and water in Point Reyes National Seashore. It offers an unparalleled experience to over 7 million San Francisco Bay Area residents. Designation under the 1964 Wilderness Act protects forever the land’s wilderness character, natural conditions, opportunities for solitude, and scientific, educational, and historical values.

More Information

Point Reyes National Seashore, which administers the northernmost land of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. Learn more about national parks at www.nps.gov.

Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Rd.
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
415-464-5100
www.nps.gov/pore
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National Park Foundation.
Join the park community.
www.nationalparks.org

Last updated: November 28, 2022

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Contact Info

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 (e.g., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; fire danger information; 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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