• Point Reyes National Seashore - Point Reyes Station, California

      Roadtrip Attraction
      Sandy beaches, rocky headlands,grasslands, forests, hillsides and ridges are all found in Point Reyes. The area was home to the coastal Miwok Indians more than 5000 years ago. It was visited by Sir Francis Drake in 1579. Then in 1870 the lighthouse was built in response to the many shipwrecks along the rugged coast. If you are fit enough to climb the 308 stairs up and down, you can visit the lighthouse. Standing above, you might see whales spouting during the migration. And, driving the roads, you'll surely see deer, coyote and perhaps elk.

      Photo by Chris Carroll

      If you go:
      No entrance fees are charged. All visitor centers are normally open throughout the year, but are closed December 25. See website for hours for visitor centers, lighthouse and special closures. Camping fees. On weekends from late December to mid-April when the weather is good, the west end of Sir Francis Drake Blvd is closed to vehicle traffic. Shuttle buses transport visitors to the lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas. Fee for those over 16 years of age. Pets are allowed only in the Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot and picnic area and must be on a leash.


      Point Reyes National Seashore
      1 Bear Valley Rd.
      Point Reyes Station, California 94956-9799 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Point Reyes National Seashore
      +1 (415) 464-5100

      Comments 4 Comments
      1. Mark Sedenquist's Avatar
        Mark Sedenquist -
        When I was living in northern California, this was my all-time favorite place to go to capture photos of winter storm waves. The rip currents going out to sea were sometimes nearly as large as the incoming swells and the collision of tons of water + wind creates some great photo effects.
      1. Eris's Avatar
        Eris -
        What struck me most when making a visit was the physical effects of The San Andreas Fault which bisects the Point Reyes peninsula from the California mainland. The Pacific plate is estimated to creep northwestward about two inches a year but the North American plate moves south. Result is a very obvious gorge across the landscape.

        Apparently a very dramatic displacement of this fault occurred in 1906 when the Point Reyes Peninsula leapt 20 feet northwestward.

        Point Reyes is an excellent place to visit. Evidence of the forces of the sea and land.

        Just north of San Francisco, near route 1, but involves a degree of walking to see the sights.
      1. Mark Sedenquist's Avatar
        Mark Sedenquist -

        Very cool observation.

      1. Eris's Avatar
        Eris -
        Thanks Mark. It is a wonderful place to visit and leaves good memories.

        Point Reyes well illustrates the need to allow time on a trip to visit these gem off the beaten track places which are scattered about California, as well as other states, and absorb the many flavours they offer.

        The downside of a whistle- stop trip is you only scratch the surface of a place before moving on.

        Happy New Year to all looking in. Eris.