Whether you are visiting the park for the first time or live locally, trails offer people of all ages a chance to explore and discover Point Reyes National Seashore’s unique landscapes, wildlife and scenic vistas, while reaping the many benefits of spending time in nature. With over 150 miles of trails available to you, there are many ways to customize your next hiking trip based on any number of factors including time, difficulty, accessibility, or interest. Please note, park trails are open year-round from sunrise to sunset.
Use the information and links below to help you plan your next adventure, or stop by any visitor center during normal hours of operation to get assistance planning your trip. If you’re looking for a more detailed map or additional nature or field guides, please consider purchasing them in one of our three bookstores located in park visitor centers. Members receive 15% off all merchandise and purchases help us support park preservation and environmental education programs in the park.
Ethics and Principles of Trail Hiking and Use
Point Reyes National Seashore Association and the National Park Service are a part of a larger community of local, state and national parks encouraging the Healthy People, Healthy Parks initiative - regular use and enjoyment of parks for overall health and well-being. To keep your adventure safe and enjoyable, and to protect park resources, please observe the following:
Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Obtain a park map, plan your route, check local weather and tide information and inquire about any trail closures (see links above).
- Let someone know where you’ll be hiking, when you plan to return and who to call if you don’t return within a reasonable amount of time.
- Pre-hydrate! Drink plenty of water before your trip and bring plenty with you.Treat all water found in the outdoors. Do not drink from streams, creeks or ponds without treating it. Limited water is available at all backcountry camps.
- Bring a small first aid kit, and wear layers, sunscreen, and good hiking shoes.
- Visit in small groups when possible. Consider splitting larger groups into smaller groups.
- Stay on trail to reduce erosion, getting disoriented or lost, and observe park trail signs and closures.
- Know how to identify poison oak and stinging nettle, and be aware of ticks.
- When hiking along park beaches, be aware of sneaker waves and use caution along cliffs as they are prone to erosion.
- Obtain a camping permit if you plan to stay overnight in the park.
- Obtain a free beach fire permit during normal visitor center hours if you want to build a fire. All beach fires must be built below the high tide line.
Leave What You Find
- Pack out what you pack in. Please repackage food and snacks to minimize waste, and do not litter.
- If you're feeling generous, bring extra bags and collect trash along the trail or along the beach. Leave cultural items or hazardous waste and report them to the visitor center.
- Take pictures and memories, but leave rocks, plants, wildlife and other natural objects as you find them.
- If you come acoss an injured or sick animal, leave it alone, but report it to the visitor center.
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch cultural or historic structures and artifacts. If you think you found something, report it to the visitor center.
- Don’t plant or bring non-native species into the park (including any oak species, oak firewood included) due to Sudden Oak Death.
- Do not build structures or otherwise alter the landscape or resources in the park.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach animals. Bring binoculars and scopes to enhance your experience.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. When camping, use storage lockers to store all items with a scent in order to reduce the risk of attracting wildlife to human items.
- Most park trails are in the Philip Burton Wilderness and are not open to dogs, pets, bicycling or motorized vehicles. Special guide animals are the exception, but must be identifiable.
- Give wildlife space, especially during sensitive times including mating, nesting, raising young, or winter. If you come across a baby animal, don't worry - the mother is out foraging and will return. This is completely normal. If you are concerned, report it to the visitor center, but do not move any animals.
- Do not mimic animal noises or bird calls, this can cause confusion and is not allowed in the park.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Hike in small groups and avoid loud banter.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering horses or bikes.
- Avoid all park residences including private ranches.
Reporting Trail Hazards and Volunteering on the Trails
Did you come across a fallen tree or other hazard on the trail? Or do you have a group of 20 - 80 people who would like to Adopt-A-Trail and care for park trails? Contact the park's Trail Crew Supervisor Shawn Maloney by calling (415) 464.5154 or send an email.