Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Trail

MODERATE 75 reviews

Point Reyes Lighthouse Visitor Center Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Inverness, California 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.

DISTANCE
1.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
341 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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.

hiking
21 days ago

In winter time, this trail is very popular for whale watching and only accessible by shuttle bus, $7 pp. Definitely worth to explore: beautiful landscape, dramatic cliffs, long beaches and rolling green hills that are speckled with cows. Once at the parking lot for the visitor center, a small hill awaits. Passing some resident housing and the visitor center, the lighthouse sits on a cliff below. 290 stair steps lead down to it. Volunteers are readily available to share historical details and stories.

walking
1 month ago

Visited in June. A spur of the moment decision when we were driving by and it was very busy. Almost didn't find a spot to park near the start of the walk to the lighthouse. Easy paved trail to the top of the stairs but a lot of narrow stairs to take to get down to the actual light. You have to at least walk to the top where the visitors center is because you can't see the lighthouse just driving by. The stairs were only difficult due to the amount of people going up and down and the wind which was blowing like crazy! However, the view was beautiful and I loved learning the history of the lighthouse and it's keepers.

hiking
1 month ago

Very windy and cold!

walking
1 month ago

Amazing place, you feel like your are at the end of the world. Was the most crowded place I went to in Pt. Reyes but still not too bad at all. The trail is paved and easy to the stairs. There are 308 stairs down to the lighthouse but it wasn't as bad as it seems. Got to see some grey whales on their migration from Alaska to Mexico!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with kids. The stairs down to the lighthouse are a bit intense going back up. Beautiful views!

hiking
2 months ago

Crowdy. But still worth it

hiking
5 months ago

It's worth the drive. We went early , it was just the right time when we came in . By the time we left at around 11-11:30ish parking was so full other visitors are park on 2 side of the road that can add another mile of hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Kid friendly. Can be cold and windy any day on the year.

6 months ago

Can't take your dog anywhere. Too many people that don't know how to park or drive. Great views, but will have to come back without my dog. And possibly in the middle of winter at 4am so no one else is here.

7 months ago

wrong day for me to make it inside of the lighthouse... great geology up there... sandstones and some river rock deposits high on the hill...

7 months ago

One of my favorite stops on our Highway 1 Vacay!

hiking
9 months ago

The walk from the parking lot to the entrance of the stairs to the lighthouse was average. There were beautiful views of the water. Unfortunately the stairs to the lighthouse were closed due to 40 mph wind. The stairs were a steep set straight down, with no platforms for breaks. Area gets very crowded, even in cold, windy conditions.

9 months ago

Loved the Lighthouse hike. It gives you a decent workout on the way back up but there were a lot of places to stop and catch your breath, and just enjoy the scenery. Lighthouses are always great photography opportunities and this one is adorable!

10 months ago

Don't miss out the 10min intro of the lighthouse by the park ranger - some good history to learn!

walking
11 months ago

Easy enough to get down with kids and grandma... nice views and vegetation. Lots of humans though (there will be lines) and it can get chilly... make sure to check open hours before going ( a nice long ride in a car).

hiking
Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs and walk miles to get off just the road. This was a super busy trail with a few hundred people. As someone with bad knees, the stairs were daunting, but doable. Beautiful view!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

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

walking
Sunday, November 06, 2016

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

hiking
Monday, October 31, 2016

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

walking
Monday, September 05, 2016

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. ❤️

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