Seals, Whales and the Bus

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As winter arrives, we’ll be seeing the Northern elephant seals (lounging in certain areas) and Pacific gray whales (migrating past the peninsula) return to the Point Reyes area. This wildlife also brings lots of visitors and the return of the shuttle bus system that takes folks out to Chimney Rock and the Lighthouse. The shuttle system will begin Saturday, December 26, 2009 and run through mid-April 2010. More from the Park Service.

Limited parking is available at prime viewing areas such as the Historic Lighthouse and Chimney Rock headlands. Bus service eases congestion in these areas and reduces green house gas emissions. The shuttle transportation system was identified in the Headlands Management Plan as an important tool to protect the fragile headlands but also allow access for visitors.

Bus service runs only on weekends and holidays in good weather. Ticket sales open at 9:00 a.m. at the Ken Patrick Visitor Center at Drakes Beach and close at 3:00 p.m. Children 16 and under are free, adult tickets are $5.00 per person and Federal Senior and Access pass discounts apply to the purchase. Sir Francis Drake Highway is closed at the South Beach junction when the busses are operating. Road closures begin at 9:00 a.m. and the road reopens approximately at 5:15 p.m. For more information, please call the Bear Valley Visitor Center at (415) 464-5100 x2 x5 or visit our Winter Shuttle Bus System page.