Point Reyes National Seashore

After viewing Muir Woods National Historical Monument, I drove north along the Coastal Highway to Point Reyes National Seashore. The Seashore consists of many ecosystems ranging from vast coastline to open grasslands and forested ridges.

Stinson Beach

My first stop was to Stinson Beach, which was along the way to Point Reyes. The beach was quite pretty, but the water was very cold. I believe that is pretty typical of the Pacific Ocean.

Once I arrived to the park around 1:30pm, I stopped at the main visitors center. The visitor’s center was very difficult to find off the main road. There was a very small brown sign that pointed down a road that looked like a small alley. I missed the turn in twice before I made it to the center.

At the center I spoke with the Park Ranger about going to the lighthouse. He told me it is a good 1 hour drive to the lighthouse and back (2 hours). He told me to plan at least 45 minutes to walk to the lighthouse from the point. looking at the time (2:00pm), that would be cutting it close for my rental car drop off in San Francisco at 7:00pm, thinking it will take me at least 1 hour to get back. I decided to go for it any ways and see the lighthouse.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

The drive to the lighthouse went through several grassland areas and ranches, with cattle sprawled around. I saw many deer on the path and arrived to the lighthouse in around 2:45pm. The lighthouse itself was 325 steps down from it’s visitor’s center and it boasts a foghorn and a first order Fresnel lens. I quickly grabbed my coat and went down the steps.

The lighthouse was pretty neat with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline of California. I dreaded the climb back up the steps as it was pretty tough for a Florida boy.

Once I was back in the car around 3:30pm, I drove back to the coastal road and followed that back to San Francisco. I did hit a little bit of traffic on the way back, but I did get to the parking garage in the Lombard district to drop the car off around 6:15pm.

More information about Point Reyes can be found here:
http://www.nps.gov/pore/index.htm