Beaches of Point Reyes

The sun sets over large waves breaking on a long, straight, sandy beach. A rocky headland rises on the left in the background.
Visitors enjoy sunset at Point Reyes Beach North.

NPS / Anela Kopshever


Point Reyes National Seashore contains approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) of shoreline, much of which park visitors may safely explore. Some beaches are rocky and good for tidepooling, while other beaches are covered by vast expanses of sand and great for a walk..

Visitors are responsible for knowing park rules and regulations. Those not adhering to the regulations will be cited.



Please note that not all beaches are suitable for swimming or wading, especially for young children. The ocean water may be as low as 10°C (50°F), so those without wetsuits rarely stay in the water for long. Hypothermia, sneaker waves, and rip currents are just a few of the hazards of which visitors should be aware. Please visit our Safety Issues Associated with Beaches page for more information. Please visit our Current Conditions page to be advised of any special weather statements.

Beach Closures and Water Quality

Beaches may be closed at various times of the year to better protect northern elephant seals and harbor seals during their pupping seasons, western snowy plovers while they are nesting, or for visitor safety.

Marin County Environmental Health Services monitors a number of ocean, bay and freshwater sites within Point Reyes National Seashore and the surrounding area. These sites are sampled once a week from April 1 through October 31 to determine if a beach meets the California water quality standards for recreational water contact. EHS works cooperatively with the NPS to collect water samples and post advisory signage as needed at the designated sampling sites. For more information, visit the EHS's Marin County Ocean and Bay Water Quality Testing Program page or their Beach Water Quality Information page.

Beaches and rivers across California often have high-risk water quality following large winter rain events. While the park strives continually to improve water quality, please note that in their annual beach report card, Heal the Bay recommends swimmers and boaters "avoid contact with ocean water around storm drains and river outlets, and avoid all ocean contact for at least three days following a significant rain event." For more information visit Heal the Bay’s website. Please visit our Current Conditions page to learn about any current beach closures or water quality concerns in Point Reyes National Seashore.


Beaches Adjacent to or Near Parking Lots

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    Beaches that are Reached by Hiking

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      Rules and Regulations

      While most beach-goers follow park rules and regulations and Leave No Trace principles, every now and then, park staff encounter someone who isn't taking only pictures and leaving only footprints. Some of the park regulations commonly violated by beach-goers include:



      Help Keep Your Beaches Clean

      The beaches of Point Reyes are some of California's cleanest. Please help protect marine life and keep your park's beaches clean by disposing of trash and recycling in the appropriate receptacles located at beach and trailhead parking lots. You can also help clean up the beaches by picking up marine debris and trash on California Coastal Cleanup Day on the third Saturday of September, or any day you visit a beach.

      We hope that your visit to these beaches is safe and enjoyable.

      Sturgeon Carcass Reporting

      Researchers studying the causes of death of adult sturgeon (142 KB PDF) request that any observations of sturgeon carcasses be reported to them by email.

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      Last updated: April 25, 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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