Best time to travel to California

Point Reyes National Seashore in California

If you are looking for a stunning coastal scenery, you are on the right path

Best time: January–May

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore

One of the most spectacular coastal escapes can be found at Point Reyes National Seashore. The natural beauty of the cliffs and rocks is combined with the power of the ocean. The amazing area of 283 sq km features dramatic precipices into the deep blue ocean, secluded beaches and amazing hiking trails. It is also a huge coastal preserve, which protects over 1,500 animal and plant species, as well as 130 kilometers of unique shoreline.

Wildflowers cover the meadows each spring in April–May. If you want to see the tule elk, move to Tomales Point during the fall rutting season. Then move on to Abbotts Lagoon—it is a perfect spot for bird watching in spring and fall months. Here you may see 45 % of North America’s bird species.

Point Reyes is a perfect place for long and relaxed beach walks. Point Reyes Lighthouse is one more highlight of the area that dates back to 1870s. If you want to visit it and enjoy the majestic views from its highest point, you'll need to go through 308 steps down to the lighthouse and back. If one day is too short for you to enjoy this beauty, you can have a night stay at the Wildcat Beach campsite. Point Reyes National Seashore is a real treasure, located at the westernmost tip of Marin County.

Each year over 2.5 million people visit Point Reyes, and summers are usually packed with visitors. Most of the heavy fogs occur during the months of July, August and September. The rainy season runs from December through March, but it's the best time to enjoy the nature without tourist crowds. January–April is the time to see the grey whales migration southbound and northbound. January–March is time for elephant seal pupping and March–May are months to witness the harbor seal pupping. Clear skies and blooming meadows provide the most magnificent views in April–May. All in all, January–May would be the best time to visit the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore?

January to May is the ideal time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore. Travelers can avoid the fog and enjoy the scenic views to the fullest. This time is the season for grey whales migration southbound and northbound, elephant seal and harbor seal pupping, and blooming meadows. For visitors who want to enjoy natural scenery without so many other tourists, the rainy season from December through March is the best time to come. Show more

Which animals can be spotted during fall rutting season at Tomales Point?

During fall rutting season at Tomales Point, you might see tule elk. Point Reyes National Seashore has over 1,500 species of animals and plants. The unique shoreline is home to different kinds of wildlife, including gray whales, elephant seals, and harbor seals at specific times of the year. During spring and fall, bird watchers adoring Abbotts Lagoon can see 45% of North America's bird species. Show more

What is the history of Point Reyes Lighthouse?

The Point Reyes Lighthouse found at the westernmost tip of Marin County was ignited in December 1870 to safeguard ships from crashing onto the rocky outcroppings of Point Reyes during the Pacific's worst weather. The lighthouse situated at the peak of a 600 ft cliff, illuminated the sea as far as 24 miles offshore, and directed boats away from danger. The lighthouse ceased operating in 1975 after the United States Coast Guard discontinued its service. Show more

How long does it take to climb the 308 steps to the top of the lighthouse?

The climb to the top of Point Reyes Lighthouse is strenuous, with a handrail only on one side of the steep stairs. Going down typically takes about 10-15 minutes, with frequent rest stops. The ascent is more challenging, and it could take a while. Despite this, the experience is rewarding, and the panoramic views of the sea and coastline are breathtaking. Show more

How many species of birds can be spotted at Abbotts Lagoon during birdwatching season?

During bird watching season at Abbotts Lagoon, bird enthusiasts may see up to 45% of North America's bird species during spring and fall; however, citing an exact number is difficult. Point Reyes National Seashore is home to over 490 bird species, including raptors, seabirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. Depending on the specific location and month, visitors might see different species of birds. Show more

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