May 28, 2013

Point Reyes Lighthouse, California

This is a very popular destination. Located about 50 miles north of San Francisco, this scenic area drives people to get a glimpse of the whale migration, the Tule Elk that roam free around the Tomales Bay, the elephant seals, wild flowers and of course the Lighthouse.

pt reyes lighthouse
Point Reyes Lighthouse
Winter: March Whale Migration Viewing at Point Reyes LighthouseDECEMBER 28TH - MID APRIL 2014

In Winter, due to the high volume of people visiting the area to view the whale migration, private vehicles are prohibited. Hence, a shuttle from Kenneth C Patrick Visitor Centre ( Drakes Beach ) is required to visit the Lighthouse on the weekend. Purchase tickets at the visitor centre until 3 pm. Return to the Lighthouse shuttle stop by 5.00 pm. This is the last bus to take you back to the visitor centre. It is about a 7 mile walk back and you surely wouldn't want to be left behind! Click on this link for the latest updates: Winter Shuttle

When we visited in March, it was very foggy by 3pm and we were told that we may not be able to hike to the lighthouse. However we decided to purchase tickets and at least go up to the shuttle stop and decide from there. The drive to the Lighthouse from Drakes beach was about 15 minutes, beautiful, narrow roads with the fog hugging the coastline and green pastures with cows grazing and a couple of timid deer along the way. Luck was in our favor. Fortunately the fog cleared just after a few minutes into the hike.

There maybe times when the Lighthouse is closed due to inclement weather so be prepared and expect fog and wind throughout the year. Check this link for other hikes that you can take around the area: Short Hikes. A 0.4 mile hike from the shuttle stop takes you to the visitor centre. From here it is a steep 308 steps down to the lighthouse. Going down is always easier than climbing back up. Here is a pic of the stairs and the lighthouse.

pt reyes stairway
Stairway to the Lighthouse 
Notes: Carry a sweater and a pair of binoculars. There are no gas stations near the Lighthouse area.

For other locations to see see the whale migration click : WHALE WATCHING AREAS IN THE CALIFORNIA:


north pt reyes beach
View of the Pt. Reyes North and  South beach from the trail head

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