Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Trail

MODERATE 22 reviews

Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Inverness, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

1.3 miles 441 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

beach

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Moderate 1.3 mile RT hike over paved trail to 300 steps to Point Reyes Lighthouse. Trail offers sweeping views of Point Reyes beach and rugged California coastline. The Point Reyes Lighthouse itself is another 150 meters (0.1 miles) beyond the Visior Center at the base of some 300 steps--the equivalent of 30 stories. The lens room, which houses the original clockworks and first-order Fresnel lens that were manufactured in 1867 and installed in 1870, is open from 2:30 pm to 4 pm, Fridays through Mondays, as staffing and weather conditions permit. The lower chamber of the historic lighthouse has exhibit panels on the history of the light and the keepers. The equipment building next to the lighthouse exhibits the two 1947 super typhon foghorns, the air compressors, and a backup power generator that were used at Point Reyes.

4 days ago

12 days ago

Always a fun walk- be prepared for lots of wind!

walking
1 month ago

been here at least six times, always enjoy it, it's never been the same experience, very popular destination

hiking
1 month ago

Very beautiful walk to a beautiful lighthouse with nice views of the ocean

1 month ago

2 months ago

walking
3 months ago

Another spontaneous trip for me where I didn't research beforehand. I was wearing 6" sandals when I walked this. My feet were sore, but so worth it! I made it to the lighthouse just in time to watch the sunset. This was the first trail I walked/hiked in California and will always hold a special place in my heart. ❤️

4 months ago

Easy hike down to lighthouse, but a little more difficult walking back up all the stairs. Was quite windy and misty when we were there, but had fun anyway. Did not see much wildlife, since visibility was not that great due to the fog.

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

These directions are to the tomales bay trail, not the lighthouse trail. The bay trail is a nice hike but more strenuous and much longer.

walking
1 year ago

Frequent this place for a quick out of the city getaway. The walk down towards the lighthouse is easy .40 from the parking lot to the start of the lighthouse stairs then 308 steps to walk to the lighthouse. Walking up the 308 steps is what gives one a quick warm up (feel the burn).

Chimney rock has spectacular views (remember to look back as you walk the trails). Easy walk up the headlands about 2.5 miles total to see the elephant seals and walk towards chimney rock. Gets very windy sometimes, if you're luck you may see whales towards the pacific side.

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful location, not too strenuous. The hike back up from the lighthouse is a lot of stairs, but well worth it.

hiking
1 year ago

Completed

hiking
1 year ago

Wonder weather. Great hike.

hiking
2 years ago

On a misty somewhat overcast cool summer day we were fortunate to be there at the right time (we first drove to the north and McClures beach so that when we returned the lighthouse steps would be open), and walked down the 308 steps to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. The equipment room was open for viewing and we checked out all the interesting stuff like the generator and the horns. Next we hit the Chimney Rock trail by trail running through the golden grasses to the edge of the cliffs and saw sea lions basking below. My boots had a blowout (good excuse for a new pair - got Vasque Breeze IIs and love 'em). It was good that we were near the end of our trip, because I didn't have a spare pair at the time. At the end of the trail signs warned you from crossing a fence, but we couldn't see the Chimney, so ducked under for a better view. Not too far, as the land crumbles easily and you could easily end up down the cliff. Turned out to be a great day, not terribly windy and the sun peeked out from time to time. When it's not crowded, both the lighthouse and Chimney Rock trails are a great sojourn. Highly recommend visiting Point Reyes and all of its cool activities. Still have the Tomales Point trail as a to do on my list.

hiking
2 years ago

This is one of my favorite hikes to take novice hikers on. Its simple, none challenging and they get to experience the beauties of the surrounding rolling hills and ocean.

walking
2 years ago

Love taking people out to the lighthouse. Beautiful ocean views, generally see seals and in spring and fall often spot whales. The stairs back up from the lighthouse are a bit steep. It can be a bit windy and chilly so bundle up accordingly.

walking
2 years ago

Paved walk from parking area to the lighthouse visitor center. Then there was another 308 steps down to the lighthouse (not including a couple of ramped areas). There were a couple of places to rest going up and down the steps. If a person takes it slow, there is no reason why anyone cannot do this. It was a great day, couldn't have had better weather. View were spectatular.

scenic driving
2 years ago

Drove here hears ago very pretty.