Ranger Programs

Framed by a doorway, a small group of people watches a park ranger gesture in front of the open ocean.
Attending a ranger program can give you a new perspective on the park.

NPS/S. Frisbie

 

Ranger programs provide the opportunity for visitors to learn more about the natural and cultural wonders of Point Reyes National Seashore. Discover history hidden in plain sight, explore new horizons on a guided hike, or plan your visit around one of our special events. Browse the Park Calendar below to find the perfect program for you!

Some programs allow you to "drop-in" for your chosen duration as you travel through the park, while others require showing up at a designated start time. Click "View Details" under each calendar listing for more information regarding location, times, and if a reservation is required.

 

Regularly Scheduled Programming

Please note that some programs are seasonal. Refer to the calendar for the most accurate listings.
 
A door into a short white lighthouse with a red roof on an oceanside cliff.
Discover the wonders hidden inside the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse.

NPS/A. Kopshever

A Look into the Lens

Get an up-close look at the intricate clockwork and enormous first order Fresnel lens housed inside the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse. During this program, a park ranger is on site to explain how the lighthouse works and what life was like for the many keepers who made their living there. Access to the lighthouse requires a strenuous walk down and back up 313 stairs, roughly equivalent to climbing a 30-story building. The stairs close when weather is hazardous, or the winds are above 40 mph (64 kmph).

 
A female ranger gestures toward some red berries while talking with visitors on a ranger-led program.
Visitors learn about elderberries during a ranger-led walk.

NPS Photo

Weekend Ranger Programs

Come join a Park Ranger to learn more about Point Reyes National Seashore's natural and cultural history. Topics may cover earthquakes and plate tectonics, the Coast Miwok, Francis Drake, the U.S. Lifesaving Service, or area flora and fauna. Browse through the Calendar below or stop by or call the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5 for additional information about scheduled programs. Some programs may require up to a 1.6 kilometer (one mile) walk on easy to moderate trails. Meet at 11 am at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, unless otherwise noted.

 
Three young girls pet and groom a brown horse while a park ranger looks on.
Honcho, pictured here, loves being spoiled by park visitors!

NPS Photo

Morgan Horse Ranch Open House

Drop by the historic Morgan Horse Ranch to meet the Morgan Horses that call Point Reyes home and participate in a variety of ranch activities such as grooming, roping, leatherworking, and horseshoes! Rangers and ranch volunteers are often on hand to demonstrate riding and ground-training techniques. While the ranch buildings are open to visit every day, this monthly open house is the best opportunity to get up close and personal with the park’s most lovable employees, the Morgan Horses!

 
A group of park visitors standing over a white picket fence pointing at the ocean.
While seeing a whale is never guaranteed, it helps to have park rangers and knowledgeable docents point out what to look for!

NPS/A. Kopshever

Journey of the Whales

Join a Ranger to learn about gray whales as they migrate past Point Reyes. Learn about their habits and adaptations, and hope for a whale sighting from the Observation Deck. Program lasts 15-20 minutes. Come prepared for the possibility of windy, cold and damp weather. Meet at the Lighthouse Observation Deck. Typically offered January through March.

 
A person wearing a grey hoodie watches a female elephant seal.
See elephant seals of all shapes and sizes from a safe distance at Drakes Beach!

NPS/S. Frisbie

Exploring Elephant Seals

Elephant seal colonies are a cacophony of sounds, smells and activity; join a ranger for a short program at Drakes Beach that will help you make sense of all that racket! This 15 to 20 minute program will explore the extreme lives of the Northern Elephant Seals who haul out on Point Reyes' beaches each winter, and provide ample opportunities for seal viewing. Come prepared for the possibility of windy, cold and damp weather. Meet at the Ken Patrick Visitor Center. Typically offered January through March.

 
A ranger walks through a group of fifteen people on a sunny beach, while fog hangs on the horizon.
Enjoy the sun and sand, or maybe wind and fog, on your Drake's Beach adventure!

NPS Photo

Drakes Beach Discovery Hike

Join a ranger on a one-hour guided walk along Drakes Beach. While program content can vary by ranger, topics may include natural and human history, wildlife, or geology—you never know what secrets and surprises Drakes Beach can reveal on any given day! Offered from May through November.

 

Rangers are often able to accommodate special program requests for groups visiting the park, depending on staffing availability. Please call 415-464-5100 or contact us for more information; advanced notice is appreciated and increases the likelihood rangers will be able to accommodate your request.

Browse the Park Calendar for the most up-to-date listing of programs and special events; check back often as new programs are often added!

 

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Last updated: January 29, 2023

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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 (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.

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