Leashed pets are welcome at Point Reyes on sections of specific beaches and trails and in a few areas. Visiting a National Park with a pet poses unique challenges. Please take a moment to review these guidelines to keep your pet, visitors, and wildlife safe. Pet owners are responsible for knowing park rules and regulations. Those not adhering to the regulations will be cited.
Locations Where Pets are Permitted
Pets are allowed in parking lots, along public roads, and along with the trails and beaches described below. All other trails, beaches, and off-trail lands within Point Reyes National Seashore and the Northern District of Golden Gate National Recreation Area are closed to the possession of pets. Always keep your pets on a leash.
Warning: Many of these trails pass through cattle pasture.
Within Point Reyes National Seashore
Pets are permitted on:
Kehoe Beach Trail.
the paths and roads within the Niman Ranch/Commonweal area south of the Commonweal entrance road and west of Mesa road. This does not include RCA Beach.
All other trails within Point Reyes National Seashore are closed to pets.
Within the Northern District of Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Pets are permitted on boats in Tomales Bay and on National Seashore beaches on the west side of Tomales Bay from the northern boundary of Tomales Bay State Park to Elk Fence South Beach. These beaches include:
If you bring a dog, or any other pet, to the park, please observe the following regulations:
Pets must be on a leash at all times; the leash must be no longer than 6 feet.
All trails, beaches, and off-trail lands within Point Reyes National Seashore and the Northern District of Golden Gate National Recreation Area are closed to the possession of pets, except as described above.
Pets are not permitted in public buildings, on public transportation vehicles, or in locations designated as a swimming beach, or within any structure or area closed to the possession of pets by the superintendent. This prohibition does not apply to working service dogs, which are allowed on trails and in public buildings.
Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object is prohibited.
All backcountry campgrounds within the park are closed to pets.
During the northern elephant seal pupping and mating season (January through March), pets and humans are not allowed on the beach south of the historic Navy installation/lifeboat station located approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the South Beach parking lot.
Palomarin Beach is no longer open to pets.
Pet owners not adhering to regulations will be cited.
Dogs and other pets are wonderful animals that give comfort and companionship. However, a national park is not the best place for them.
Dogs can scare, chase, harass, and/or kill wild animals, such as nesting shorebirds, deer, rabbits, and marine mammals. As an example, in 2019 here at Point Reyes, a dog which was illegally off-leash attacked and killed a rare Guadalupe fur seal.
Dogs leave behind a territorial "predator" scent typical of all wild canines, like wolves and coyotes. This scent can linger in the area for long periods of time and can disrupt or alter the behavior of the native animals this park has been set aside to protect.
Pets can transmit diseases to wild animals—such as coyotes, badgers, and marine mammals—or contract diseases from wild animals. Some diseases transmitted by ticks and fleas, such as Lyme disease and bubonic plague, could then be transmitted to humans.
Native predators, such as mountain lions and coyotes, may see pets as prey, placing both pet and owner in danger.
Pets can damage the ground, sensitive archaeological sites, and plants by digging or rolling.
Even normally well-behaved pets can become stressed by unfamiliar surroundings, threatening visitors and wildlife in close situations, such as on park trails or along the narrow paths to the lighthouse.
Pets can intimidate, disturb, and/or annoy other visitors by making noise or by scaring wildlife away.
Bolinas Ridge Trail, Jewell Trail, McCurdy Trail, and Randall Trail within Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the trails and roads within the Niman Ranch/Commonweal area pass through cattle pasture. Cattle can feel threatened by dogs, which they may perceive to be a predator. Mother cows may become aggressive when trying to protect their young. Please read Understanding Working Rangelands: Sharing Open Space: What to Expect from Grazing Livestock (1,314 KB PDF) to better understand basic cattle behavior and to give yourself a better chance to predict how cattle are likely to react to your dog's presence. This will help make your hike along these trails safer and more enjoyable.
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; 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.