Point Reyes National Seashore

It takes courage to walk down these steps and stamina to walk back up!

Location: 27099 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Inverness, CA 94937

Designation: National Seashore

Date NPS designation declared: 10/20/1972

Date of my visit: 8/15/2012

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I have been to Point Reyes on three separate visits to the bay area and just love the serenity of the place. On only one occasion was the lighthouse open. The last time we were there in 2012, there was a sign saying the light was closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but there had been no indication of this on the NPS website. I should have called to check when making plans as it was a long, but lovely drive, from San Francisco.  A few years earlier, we’d survived our vertigo and the climb down the steep, narrow 300 stairs to tour the light and speak with a ranger about the history of the area. And to our surprise, we were able to see gray whales migrating past the point from the deck of the lighthouse!

Female Tule Elk grazing along Tomales Bay

But since this trip was in August, it wasn’t the right time of year to see the whales anyway. So after a peaceful picnic lunch (I recommend stopping at Tomales Bay Foods for provisions in Point Reyes station before heading into the park. There is nowhere to get food once inside the park and the roads between points are long, narrow, slow and rural) we headed to the Tule Elk Preserve on the other side of the park.

The Tomales Point Trail is a lovely, mostly level path that hugs the coastline. To hike from the lot all the way to the point and back again is about 7-8 miles. That is a little longer than our group was willing to go, but fortunately we did find a herd of Tule Elk about 2.5 miles in.  In our quest for a sighting, we happened upon a ranger who pointed us in the right direction and told us a little of the history of the preserve. The Elk who thrive there today have been brought back from the brink of extinction. We were grateful to see these magnificent animals!

A bull leading the herd away from us. I had a thing for filters back then.
The hiking and the ocean air worked up our appetites and we stopped for dinner at the Olema farmhouse on our drive back to the city. There are still many areas of this park left for us to explore on future visits, like the cypress tree tunnel and the shipwreck.

3 thoughts on “Point Reyes National Seashore

  1. Pingback: Point Reyes National Seashore – From The Darkness Into The Light

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