All of Point Reyes National Seashore's Visitor Centers are accessible. Point Reyes also has numerous accessible paths to various points of interest. While brief descriptions of some of the park's accessible points of interest may be found below, more detailed information may be found in the park's Accessibility Guide (814 KB PDF). Both this web page and the Accessibility Guide are living documents and will be updated as needed.
The National Seashore has a limited number of copies of the text from the park's official map/brochure in Braille format available at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. You may also download the Braille Ready File version of our official map/brochure (9 KB BRF) for printing at home on your Braille embosser/printer.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John Dell'Osso, the park's Accessibility Coordinator, at 415-464-5135 or by email.
Bear Valley Visitor Center
The Bear Valley Visitor Center is mostly accessible with a gently ramped, multilevel interior. Most displays are well placed for use or viewing from a seated position. Restrooms and a payphone on the outside information board are accessible. Designated parking is located in front of the center.
Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center
Parking close to the Lighthouse is available by arrangement. Call 415-669-1534 or 415-464-5100 x2 x5. The Lighthouse Visitor Center, observation deck, and restrooms are all fully accessible, but the lighthouse itself is not. More detailed information is available in the Accessibility section on our Visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse page. See the Accessibility section on our Winter Shuttle Bus System page for information on driving to the Lighthouse on weekends and holidays during the winter and early spring.
Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center and Drakes Beach
The complex includes the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center, PRNSA Bookstore at Drakes Beach, picnic area, payphone, and restrooms, which are all accessible. There are several designated parking spaces. There is no beach access at this time.
Wheelchairs are Available
Inquire at the Information Desk at the Bear Valley, Kenneth C. Patrick, or Lighthouse Visitor Centers for free use of a wheelchair.
This 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) round-trip paved trail is self-guiding. The asphalt pathway was designed to be accessible, but over the years since it was last paved, depressions have developed in a number of locations or one side of the pathway has dropped which precludes the pathway from currently meeting criteria for being fully accessible. Some wheelchair users may need assistance to navigate through these degraded sections of the trail. An accessible restroom and two designated parking spaces in a dirt/gravel parking lot are located at the trailhead.
Kule Loklo Coast Miwok Cultural Exhibit
Bear Valley Trail to Divide Meadow
Five Brooks Pond
A gentle, soil-cemented trail leads 400 meter (1/4 mile) to an overlook of the lagoon. Restrooms are accessible and there are two designated parking spaces. No beach access.
Historic Pierce Ranch
A soil cement trail tours this dairy ranch, located on Tomales Point, that was established in 1858. A payphone in the upper parking lot is accessible.
A paved trail leads ~225 meters (~725 feet) from the accessible parking area past a small picnic area, over a bridge spanning wetlands, and toward the beach before encountering a sand dune that will prevent passage to those in most wheelchairs from accessing the beach. Vault toilets are not accessible. The payphone on Limantour Road before the parking lot is not accessible.
Drakes, North, and South Beaches
Each parking lot has an accessible restroom and designated parking. There are short paved paths along the edge of the parking lots with lovely ocean views. There is no beach access.
Other Points of Interest
Historic Chimney Rock Lifeboat Station
Volunteers often staff the Historic Boathouse near Chimney Rock on weekends and holidays from January through March. At other times, visitors may explore the Lifeboat Station grounds, where wayside exhibits provide information about the U.S. Lifesaving Service and U.S. Coast Guard history at Point Reyes. The boathouse's first floor and boat bay are wheelchair accessible. There is also an accessible restroom within the boathouse. Individuals with a Disabled Person parking placard or plate may drive their personal vehicle to the boathouse parking area. See the Accessibility section on our Winter Shuttle Bus System page for information on driving to the Lifeboat Station on weekends and holidays during the winter and early spring. At other times, please inquire at a visitor center for instructions first.
Morgan Horse Ranch
With a Disabled Person parking placard or plate, you may drive your vehicle along the maintenance road to a small parking area close to the stables at the Morgan Horse Ranch. Exhibit areas are accessible.
A fifteen minute drive up winding Mount Vision Road off Sir Francis Drake Highway takes you to three spectacular vista points (on clear days). Two viewpoints look west towards Drakes Bay and Estero and one near the top looks east over Tomales Bay. No facilities.
Point Blue Conservation Science's Palomarin Field Station
Formerly known as PRBO Conservation Science and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, this research station in the south end of the park has a small visitor center with accessible restrooms and payphone. Bird banding can be observed from sunrise until noon. Call 415-868-0655 for information or go to their website.
In October 2018, the National Park Service (NPS) issued a policy memorandum regarding the use of service animals by persons with disabilities in national parks. The revised policy aligns the NPS policy with the standards established by the Department of Justice in 2010 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Only dogs are classified as service animals, and they must perform a specific task that assists a person with a disability. Emotional support or comfort animals are not service animals.
The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarified and refined issues that had arisen over the previous 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, such as those pertaining to service animals.
Since March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. A service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. National Park Service sites and facilities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the individual's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition, i.e., dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Justice’s Revised ADA Regulations: Implementing Title II and Title III page at http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/ADAregs2010.htm.
Last updated: December 20, 2020