|Point Reyes Lighthouse|
The wife of a lighthouse keeper once planted a small garden nearby, but with no success. As soon as the carrots sprouted the wind blew them away. Few plants can face up to the ocean's harsh influences.
On a foggy morning, your approach to the Lighthouse Visitor Center may include a short walk under water-dripping cypresses.
|Fern plants growing on branches of wet cypresses alongside lighthouse trail|
continental shelf with Cordell Bank, Rittenburg Bank and Noonday Rock.
|Undersea map with continental shelf and Cordell Bank: Discover an Oceanscape Under the Sea|
|Skull of a gray whale|
|Steps alongside conglomerate|
Point Reyes Light has guided and cautioned mariners along this hazardous coast for over 100 years. Built by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1870, it came under management of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939. Resident personnel operated the station until 1975 when the conversion to automated lights and electronic equipment was completed.
The National Park Service maintains a very detailed Visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse site, which further highlights the lighthouse history and links to information on accessibility and road-closure/shuttle-bus policies during whale-watching season.
Getting to the lighthouse trailheadFrom Olema or the Bear Valley Visitor Center, drive north on Bear Valley Road and turn left at its junction with Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Follow Sir Francis Drake Blvd. for about 20 miles to its end—first northwest along the western shore of Tomales Bay to Inverness, then westward over the Inverness Ridge and finally southwest through the Pastoral Lands.
Don't miss Chimney Rock!Returning from your lighthouse visit, you may want to explore the east-side spur of the headlands by hiking through grassland, enjoying views of Drakes Bay and overlooking surf-zone rocks such as Chimney Rock and the natural bridge at the end of Chimney Rock Trail. To do that, turn right on Chimney Rock Road (before passing again through the “A” Ranch). Find the parking lot and trailhead after about one mile from the Sir Francis Drake Blvd./Chimney Rock Rd. junction.
|California Coast: Point Reyes headlands map with lighthouse tip and Chimney Rock tip|
See more: Point Reyes National Seashore, California.