Recreate Responsibly

Titled "Recreate Responsibly. NPS." Illustration of a hiker on a trail heading towards trees, mountains, and runner. Text includes five tips, which can be found elsewhere on this page.

NPS / Matt Turner

Here are guidelines for responsible recreation in the outdoors at Point Reyes:

Before you come:

  • Check what's open. Visit our Current Conditions page for more details.
  • Prepare.
    • Download park maps and other publications before you leave home.
    • Pack and bring with you:
      • drinking water—water fountains may not be available
      • hand sanitizer
      • food and other supplies—many community resources, such as restaurants and stores along your route to the park could be experiencing increased waits
    • Fuel/charge your vehicle close to home.
  • Visit on weekdays to avoid crowded trails and beaches.
  • Enjoy the outdoors when healthy. If you have symptoms of fever, coughing or shortness of breath, save your outdoor adventure for another day.

When you get here:

  • Avoid crowds.
    • Visit during the quieter "shoulder" periods of the day—early mornings and late afternoons—and be prepared to come back another time if your destination looks crowded.
    • Have an alternate location in mind and be prepared to go somewhere else if your destination looks crowded.
  • Park in designated parking spaces only. If the parking lot is full, it is too crowded. Avoid parking along the shoulders of roads.
  • Stay on official, marked trails.
  • Pack it in, pack it out. If you bring it to Point Reyes, take it home with you, including disposable gloves and masks.
  • Most importantly, please stay home if you feel sick.

Park rangers remain on duty to protect visitors and resources and uphold normal regulations. When recreating, please practice Leave No Trace principles, and avoid crowding and high-risk outdoor activities. Be prepared for limited access to services.

Be sure to park only in designated areas, pack out everything you bring into a park, plan a visit at times other than busiest of the day, maintain social distance from others, and if you encounter a crowded trailhead or overlook, seek another location to recreate.  

We are also encouraging you to find your virtual park! Explore national parks from the comfort of anywhere in the world through online galleries of photos, videos, webcams, podcasts, and sound recordings.

Learn more about how to recreate responsibly when visiting national parks.

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Infographic with text reading A Little Space Goes a Long Way. Stay Safe and Recreate Responsibly. Six images depict six feet of distance.

NPS / Matt Turner


Alternative Text for the A Little Space Goes a Long Way (6 Feet Distancing) Infographic

Infographic with text reading "A Little Space Goes a Long Way. Stay Safe and Recreate Responsibly. Looking for the best place for #socialdistancing? Many park areas remain accessible to provide that distance, but please do it safely and responsibly! What does 6 feet look like?" First example is a cartoon of two picnic tables between two people reading, "Two picnic tables between friends." Second example is a silhouette of antlers reading, "An elk's antlers." Third example is a cartoon of a person on a line reading, "A yoga mat." Fourth example is a cartoon of a person next to a Point Reyes National Seashore entrance sign reading, "A national park sign." Fifth example is a cartoon of two people by park panels reading, "Two information waysides." Sixth example is a silhouette of a coyote reading, "One large coyote."

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Generic Recreate Responsibly Tips during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As National Park Serivce (NPS) sites make more areas available to the public, the NPS encourages you to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and follow Leave No Trace principles when you visit.

  • Know before you go. Visit for current park conditions and availability of restrooms and other facilities. Make a plan, follow the 10 Essentials, and if you are sick, stay home.
  • Keep it close. Follow the state and county orders governing the open status of the area you're considering visiting. The National Park Service is working closely with governors and state and local health departments as we increase access and services across the National Park System.
  • Keep your distance. Recreate with the people in your household. Give others plenty of room whether you are on a trail, at a boat launch, or in a parking lot. Follow the CDC social distancing guidelines for staying six feet away from others. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth if you're near others.
  • Know your limits. Postpone challenging hikes or trying new activities while first responders, parks, and communities continue to concentrate on responding to the pandemic.
  • Keep it with you. If you brought it, take it with you. Trash pickup and restroom facilities will continue to be limited in many park areas . Follow Leave No Trace principles.

The NPS conducts thousands of search and rescues servicewide each year, many of which could be avoided with visitors planning and making responsible decisions. During the ongoing health crisis, it’s critical that we make wise choices to keep our national park rangers and first responders out of harm's way. Please follow these Recreate Responsibly tips to safely spend time outside.

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Last updated: May 23, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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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