Recreate Responsibly

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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

Services are limited at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Masks are required for everyone in visitor centers and other Federal buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces.

Following the latest science and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Park Service (NPS) requires visitors, employees, and contractors to wear a mask inside all NPS buildings and in crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status or community transmission levels. This requirement will be in effect until further notice and applies to all NPS buildings, such as visitor centers, and on public transportation systems. It also applies to outdoors spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails and overlooks. Examples of narrow or busy trails and overlooks at Point Reyes National Seashore include, but are not limited to:

  • the developed areas of the lighthouse complex, including roadways, paths, observation areas, the stairs leading down to the lighthouse, and the pathways at the lighthouse level;
  • the Elephant Seal Overlook Trail and overlook; and
  • the Morgan Horse Ranch.

Please continue to practice physical (aka, social) distancing consistent with CDC guidance in all locations. Put six feet of distance between yourself and people who don't live in your household. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.

News Release

National Park Service implements national mask requirement, August 16, 2021.

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. Here is a list of nearby parks that are open.
  • 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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1 minute, 59 seconds

Winter and spring is an incredible time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore. Follow these guidelines for a safe visit.

Recreate Responsibly at Point Reyes NS


Open Transcript


Ranger Fiona: Welcome back to Point Reyes National Seashore. We are so excited to have you return to our trails and beaches. But before you go, here are some tips to help you recreate responsibly.

Ranger Carlo: Check what's open. Park conditions may change. Visit our web site at for the most up-to-date information.

Ranger Bonnie: Stay close to home. This isn't the time to travel long distances to recreate. Let's go, Honcho.

Ranger Fiona: If your chosen destination is crowded, go elsewhere or come back on a weekday when it's less busy.

Intern Ruby: Be prepared. Facilities may be closed or limited as we increase access to the park.

Ranger Carlo: Bring your own food, water, hand sanitizer, and face covering. And please, fill up your gas tank in your own community.

Ranger Bonnie: When you get here, practice physical distancing. Stay six feet from anyone who doesn't live with you, and be prepared to cover your nose and mouthand give others space.

Intern Ruby: Leave no trace. Always pack out what you pack in, including gloves and masks.

Ranger Matt: If you're feeling sick, stay home, and save your adventure for another day.

Ranger Fiona: Help us remain open by doing your part to recreate responsibly. We look forward to seeing you soon.

All staff: Safe parks remain open parks!

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1 minute, 34 seconds

A short video welcoming visitors to Point Reyes National Seashore with some tips on how to recreate responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recreate Responsibly at Point Reyes NS

Last updated: August 19, 2021

Contact the Park

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 (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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