Plan Your Visit

A gray barn-like visitor center surrounded by green fields and trees with a parking lot on the left.
Stop by the Bear Valley Visitor Center for help with planning your visit.

Point Reyes National Seashore was established to preserve and protect wilderness, natural ecosystems, and cultural resources along the diminishing undeveloped coastline of the western United States.

Located just an hour's drive from a densely populated metropolitan area, the Seashore is a sanctuary for myriad plant and animal species and for the human spirit—for discovery, inspiration, solitude, and recreation—and exists as a reminder of the human connection to the land.

Whether you are a frequent visitor to the Seashore or planning your first visit to the park, we hope the information provided here will answer questions you may have.

Please, Leave No Trace. Take only pictures, leave only footprints. Learn how to enjoy your park while leaving it in as good as, if not better, condition as you found it.

The National Park Service is committed to making facilities, programs, services, and employment accessible for visitors and employees with disabilities. Learn more about accessibility for visitors to Point Reyes National Seashore.

And if you ever find yourself in the Republic of Georgia, stop by Kolkheti National Park. Located on the coast of the Black Sea, Point Reyes National Seashore's sister park protects an interesting variety of landscapes, flora, and fauna.

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The Bear Valley Visitor Center. A gray, barn-like structure surrounded by oak and Douglas fir trees.

Trip Planning Guide

Know Before You Go! Use this guide to help plan for your trip and avoid common mistakes. Make your fun adventure a safe one too!

A camper setting up his tent.

Hike-in and Boat-in Backcountry Camping

Point Reyes National Seashore offers year-round camping. Permits must be obtained at the Bear Valley Visitor Center before starting a trip.

Two couples hiking through a meadow near the Bear Valley Trailhead.

Hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore

The National Seashore has about 150 miles (240 kilometers) of hiking trails to explore. Learn how to keep your adventure safe and enjoyable.

A woman wearing a yellow life-jacket and a white hat paddling a red kayak.

Kayaking at Point Reyes

The most popular area for kayaking in the Point Reyes area is Tomales Bay. Learn how to prepare for your trip and make it a safe experience.

Alamere Falls descending onto Wildcat Beach with the craggy Double Point in the background.

Alamere Falls

A 13-mile minimum round-trip hike is required to safely visit this coastal waterfall. Please respect the Wilderness and Leave No Trace.

A bull tule elk flanked by two female elk.

Viewing Tule Elk

Tule elk can be found at several locations within the park, but the best chance of seeing them is at the Tule Elk Preserve at Tomales Point.

The Point Reyes Lighthouse and associated buildings at the base of 308 stairs.

The Point Reyes Lighthouse.

At the westernmost end of the Point Reyes Headlands, the Lighthouse served mariners for 105 years & is now preserved for future generations.

Wind-blown cypress trees lining a road leading to an art deco-style building.

The Historic KPH Station and Tree Tunnel

The Historic KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station and the Cypress Tree Tunnel may be visited on one's way to the Lighthouse or Drakes Beach.

Ranger leading tour along the Earthquake Trail.

Ranger-guided Programs

Visitors are invited to explore the wonders of Point Reyes and learn more about the National Seashore’s natural and cultural history.

Visitors boarding a Marin Airporter bus at Drakes Beach.

Winter Shuttle Bus System

On winter & early spring weekends and holidays, Sir Francis Drake Blvd. may be closed beyond South Beach to visitor motor vehicle traffic.

Weaned elephant seal pups, aka

Viewing Elephant Seals

While elephant seals are present around the Point Reyes Headlands year-round, hundreds return in the winter to birth their pups and to mate.

A group of visitors watching for gray whales.

Watch for Whales at Point Reyes

Gray whales migrate past Point Reyes from December through May and can frequently be seen from the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas.


Make your fun adventure a safe one too!

No one plans on getting hurt while out exploring in a national park. However, nature is unpredictable, structures are historical, and your equipment can unexpectedly fail. Planning ahead can be the key to a fun and safe adventure. Remember, safety starts with you!

Use the NPS Trip Planning Guide and Checklist to help plan your trip. The guide provides key safety considerations to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes people make when visiting national parks. The guide is divided into the four phases of your trip. Additional articles are there to help you with selecting the Ten Essentials, preparing your Trip Plan, and Emergency Planning. Don't miss out on these important tips to help prepare you for an emergency!

Last updated: June 8, 2020

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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