Starting Saturday, December 26, 2015, through late March 2016
Weekends And Federal Holidays
9 am to 5:30 pm
Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is CLOSED beyond South Beach Junction to visitor motor traffic. Visitors' vehicles are NOT permitted in the closed area between 9 am to approximately 5:30 pm when the shuttles are operating. Access to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock during the closure is only available by shuttle bus, by bicycle, or by foot.
1. Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach
Visitors may purchase tickets in the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center after 9:30 am. Buses depart every 15 to 20 minutes. Tickets are usually sold until 3 pm and the last bus taking visitors from Drakes Beach to the headlands departs at 3:30 pm. NOTE: Ticket sales may end before 3 pm on days when visitation levels are high and all of the tickets for the 3:30 pm bus are sold before 3 pm. Dress warmly and be sure you have everything you need for the next few hours. No food is available after this point. There is a water fountain available at the Lighthouse Visitor Center, and restrooms are located at the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock shuttle stops, and 100 meters (100 yards) east of the Lighthouse Visitor Center.
Disembark the bus and walk 0.6 km (0.4 miles) to the Lighthouse Visitor Center. Just beyond the Visitor Center, you can watch for gray whales from the observation deck, or descend down the ~300 steps to the Lighthouse. Return to the shuttle stop when you are ready to move on, and a bus will come by every 15 to 20 minutes to take you to Chimney Rock. Be sure to return to the Lighthouse shuttle stop by 5 pm, or you may miss the last bus taking visitors back to Chimney Rock and Drakes Beach.
3. Chimney Rock
Whales, seals, and wildflowers! Walk about 300 meters (300 yards) to the Elephant Seal Overlook, visit the Historic Lifeboat Station, or take the 2.5 km (1.6 mi) round-trip hike to Chimney Rock to watch for whales.
Keep your eyes open for wildflowers. Tidepool areas are closed while elephant seals are present. Return to the shuttle stop when you are ready to go back to Drakes Beach, and a bus will come by every 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to return to the shuttle stop by 5:30 pm, or you may miss the last bus taking visitors back to Drakes Beach. Chimney Rock Area Map (77 KB PDF)
(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; 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.