Typical Weather by Season The moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean creates a climate with no great extremes of heat or cold. Any season can bring interesting weather during your visit to Point Reyes National Seashore. Come prepared! Summer: Although there is very little rain during summer months, there is often dense fog. If you are visiting Bear Valley or Tomales Bay, expect patchy morning fog to burn off by mid-day. Afternoons are often sunny and warm with a light breeze. By contrast, the beaches and headlands are often 20 degrees cooler with heavy fogs common throughout the day [...]
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A Brief History of Elephant Seals at Point Reyes After being absent for more than 150 years, northern elephant seals returned to sandy pocket beaches on the south side of the Point Reyes Headlands in the early 1970s. In 1981, the first breeding pair was discovered near Chimney Rock. Between 1988 and 1993, the population grew at a dramatic annual average rate of 32%. Since 1993, the average growth rate has slowed to 8–9% per year. Fanning out from their initial secluded south-facing beaches of the headlands, the seals have since expanded to beaches which are not as remote, [...]
Engaging in the longest migration of any mammal, the California gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) swims 10,000 miles each year, spending about one third of its life migrating from the cold, nutrient-rich waters of Alaska, to the warm, shallow lagoons of Baja California. Along the way, these incredible animals can often be seen from the shores of Point Reyes. What drives the gray whale to undertake this incredible annual round trip from Alaska to Baja? Food and reproduction. Jutting 10 miles into the Pacific Ocean, the headlands of the Point Reyes Peninsula offer one of the finest spots to view [...]
Point Reyes beaches are some of the most dramatic and beautiful in the country. You'll find places to go walking swimming, kayaking, tidepooling, birdwatching, and beachcombing. Many beaches are easily accessible, others you can reach only by hiking. Beaches on the west coast tend to be windswept and dramatic, surf rough and rip currents treacherous. McClures Beach, south of Tomales Point and west of the Pierce Point parking area, has great tidepooling and lots of wildlife including the giant sea anemones. Take care at this beach as the intense surf makes it dangerous to be on the rocks except [...]
1. ARCH ROCK VIA BEAR VALLEY. A popular trail in Point Reyes National Seashore, it is the most direct route to the ocean from the Bear Valley Visitor Center and an excellent trail for beginners and children. The trail is sheltered from sun, wind and coastal fog as it meanders through mixed Douglas fir forest and along Bear Valley Creek. Arch Rock is an overlook point. (Distance - 8.2 miles; Time - 4 hours; Level of Difficulty - Moderate) 2. TOMALES POINT TRAIL. Open trail through the Tule Elk Range offers spectacular views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and [...]
The cultural history of Point Reyes reaches back some 5,000 years to the Coast Miwok Indians who were the first human inhabitants of the Peninsula. Over 120 known village sites exist within the park. According to many experts, Sir Francis Drake landed here in 1579, the first European explorer to do so. In response to the many shipwrecks in the treacherous coastal waters, key lighthouse and lifesaving stations were established by the United States Government in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the early 1800s, Mexican land grantees established ranchos. They were followed by a wave of American [...]