Point Reyes


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North America » United States » California » Marin
March 7th 2009
Published: April 10th 2009
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On this Saturday I made the drive up highway 1 from the Muir Woods area through Stinson Beach on the way up to Point Reyes to see what I could of the Gray Whale migration. It was a great weather day, lots of sun, wind was mild, visibility was great (you could see the Farallon islands quite clearly), and thus kind of a fun day to stare into the Pacific.

That day there were some 88 individual Gray Whales spotted heading North, but only a handful of them came close to the lighthouse while I was there. Of course, the majority of them were females with a calf, and thus they weren't breaching or anything nearly that exciting. I saw a lot of spouts when they surfaced to breath, but that wasn't worth hanging around for. Once I got up a little higher from the Lighthouse, I saw the backs of a few of them as they surfaced to breath.

The natural beauty of the area though is really cool. Point Reyes, Carmel, Point Lobos, and Lands End are all in my list of favorites for unmatched natural beauty along the West coast. Hopefully some of these pictures will give you a feel
Drake's BeachDrake's BeachDrake's Beach

This is the area where you must park during the Gray Whale migration, and they bus you over to the lighthouse area or to Chimney Rock (the leftmost piece of land in the distance) for $5 roundtrip.
for how beautiful an area it is.


Additional photos below
Photos: 42, Displayed: 22


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10 Mile Beach10 Mile Beach
10 Mile Beach

This is taken looking North, just a few hundred yards East of the lighthouse area. It was a very clear day.
Looking South into the PacificLooking South into the Pacific
Looking South into the Pacific

Here you can get a feel for how high above the water this area is, and how steep it is down to the water.
Looking South and East into the PacificLooking South and East into the Pacific
Looking South and East into the Pacific

Looks to be some communications equipment on top of that far peak.
Farallon Islands in the distanceFarallon Islands in the distance
Farallon Islands in the distance

Might not be able to see them all that well in this photo. Just to left of the middle of the photo. A better picture of them to follow.
Road to the LighthouseRoad to the Lighthouse
Road to the Lighthouse

To the left of this photo is where you can park your car when traffic to the area is low. Those trees above must deal with a ton of wind, year round.
Quarters of Maintenance StaffQuarters of Maintenance Staff
Quarters of Maintenance Staff

This brown building appears to be where all of the maintenance staff live, as the nearest accommodations other than the 26 or so local ranches (A-Z), is some 20 miles away.
Great view from the maintenance folks quartersGreat view from the maintenance folks quarters
Great view from the maintenance folks quarters

I wonder if it is difficult to sleep in that building at times, when the wind outside is howling. Great view from their windows I expect though.
Lighthouse Visitor CenterLighthouse Visitor Center
Lighthouse Visitor Center

Cool rock formation just behind it.
Whale SkullWhale Skull
Whale Skull

The path leading to the lighthouse is around to the left of that white shack.
Looking mostly West into the PacificLooking mostly West into the Pacific
Looking mostly West into the Pacific

On the path to the Lighthouse.
310 Steps to the Lighthouse310 Steps to the Lighthouse
310 Steps to the Lighthouse

While they make a big deal of this, and it might be considered a brief "huff and a puff" in New Zealand, it really wasn't that big a deal. There are a couple of "rest areas" along the stairs should you really need it.
Remaining path to the LighthouseRemaining path to the Lighthouse
Remaining path to the Lighthouse

Interesting natural beauty, to me.
Rest area in useRest area in use
Rest area in use

You would think with all the people jammed in there that they might be serving drinks there too, but alas, that was not the case.
Still up pretty highStill up pretty high
Still up pretty high

Looking South.
Lighthouse on its perchLighthouse on its perch
Lighthouse on its perch

The white building on the left now houses what used to be the working steam powered foghorns. That technology is now obsolete, and both the working foghorn and light are now fully automated and sit behind that building and the Lighthouse, on their West side. Looking decidedly West here.
Another cool rock formationAnother cool rock formation
Another cool rock formation

Maybe just 180 steps to go ...


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