Activities and Amenities
Point Reyes is a peninsula, one and half hours north of San Francisco providing a welcome respite for the surrounding urban area. Wooded hillsides give way to chaparral and grasslands with 140 miles of hiking trails and seven beaches.
Activities include hiking, limited bike riding along the borders of the Philip Burton Wilderness, bird watching, and beach walking. In the winter season whale watching and Northern Elephant seal populations may be viewed (though not in the backpacking or boat-in areas).
Four hike in/bike-in only areas in the southern area of the park and 20 boat-in only campsites on Tomales Bay. Amenities at the hike-in/bike-in sites included picnic tables charcoal only grills, food storage lockers with centrally located pit toilets and drinking water; no pets permitted. Boat-in sites have no amenities (except on Marshall and Tomales Beach where pit toilets are available.
The main Bear Valley Visitor Center is open seven days a week, year-round, except for Christmas.
Hike-in/Bike-in Campgrounds include:
Coast Camp is nestled within a small coastal grassy valley with easy access to the beach and tide pools. The beach is within 200 meters (200 yards) of the campground. The shortest approach to Coast Camp is via the 3 km (2 miles) slightly uphill hike on the Laguna and Firelane Trails, starting at the Laguna Trailhead just past the hostel. Following the Coast Trail from the Coast Trailhead before the hostel offers an easy, flat 4 km (3 miles) route and is open to bicycles. Twelve individual sites and two group sites. Sites 1 - 7 are in a small semi-protected canyon.
Glen Camp is a quiet and secluded camp deep within a wooded valley protected from ocean breezes. The shortest hike to this camp is a moderate 7 km (5 miles) by foot along the Bear Valley Glen Trails. To access Glen Camp by bicycle, start at the Five Brooks Trailhead, follow the Stewart Trail to the Glen Trail, then north to the Glen Camp Loop, and finish by descending to Glen Camp. This is a strenuous 10 km (6 mile) bike ride. It is a 4 km (3 mile) strenuous one-way hike to the beach at Wildcat Camp. No groups, horses, or pack animals are allowed at Glen Camp. Twelve individual sites are available.
Sky Camp is located on the western side of Mt. Wittenberg at an elevation of 310 meters (1025 feet). In clear weather, it may have a sweeping view of Point Reyes, Drakes Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. The easiest and shortest approach is a 2 km (2 miles) moderate uphill hike or bicycle ride from the Sky Trailhead (elevation 250 meters (840 feet)) on Limantour Road. It is a steep 6 km (4 miles) one-way hike down to the beach. Eleven individual sites and one group site.
Wildcat Camp is located in an open meadow on a bluff overlooking the ocean with a short walk to the beach and a 3 km (2.0 miles) round-trip walk to Alamere Falls. It is a 10 km (6 mile) hike from Bear Valley or an 9 km (6 miles) hike on the Coast Trail from Palomarin with access to Bass Lake. The only bicycling route is via a strenuous 11 km (7 miles) ride along the Stewart Trail from the Five Brooks Trailhead. Five individual sites and three group sites are available; three of the individual sites only hold up to four people.
Tomales Bay boat-in camping is allowed on west-side National Park beaches north of Tomales Bay State Park's Indian Beach. These beaches are tidally influenced and generally are small sandy coves backed against steep cliffs. Campers on Tomales Bay beaches must arrive by boat and may not hike, bike, or ride horses to the beaches. Overnight parking for boat-in campers is prohibited within Point Reyes National Seashore (i.e., along the Pierce Point and L Ranch Roads and at the Marshall Beach Trailhead) and Tomales Bay State Park. All waste (including human) must be removed. Disposing of human waste in the bay or onto park beaches is prohibited, so campers must bring portable facilities or limit camping to Marshall Beach and Tomales Beach, where vault toilets and portable toilets, respectively, are available. There is no potable water available. There are seasonal closures on some beaches. Check with the Bear Valley Visitor Center for updates. Twenty permits are available each day - nine to parties of 1 to 6 people, eight to parties of 7 to 14 people, and three to parties of 15 to 25 people.
The Seashore shares the peninsula with Tomales Bay State Park, a day-use area popular for swimming and picnicking.