Closed to public except by guided tour.
Point Sur State Historic Park
What is open now?
- Point Sur State Historic Park has reopened.
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
- Know Before You Go – Prior to leaving home, check the status of the park unit you want to visit to find out what restrictions and guidelines are in place. Have a back-up plan in case your destination is crowded. Stay home if you are sick
- Plan Ahead – Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer.
- Play It Safe – Find out what precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors, especially if this is your first time visiting the State Park System. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
- Be COVID-19 Safe – State Parks continues to meet guidance from local and state public officials as COVID-19 is still present and still deadly. Effective March 1, 2022, state guidance recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, continue masking in indoor settings, such as museums and visitor centers. Universal masking remains required in specified high-risk settings. Please plan ahead as local county guidelines may differ from state guidance and visitors are urged to follow county guidelines when required. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at COVID19.ca.gov.
- Leave No Trace – Leave areas better than how you found them by staying on designated trails and packing out all trash. Do not disturb wildlife or plants.
About Point Sur State Historic Park
The Point Sur Lightstation sits 361 feet above the Pacific Ocean on a large volcanic rock which juts into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Point Sur is the only complete, turn-of-the century Lightstation open to the public in California, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. First lit on August 1, 1889, the lighthouse has remained in continuous operation. Lighthouse keepers and their families lived at the site from 1889 to 1974 when the lighthouse was automated. Today the Lightstation buildings are being restored through the efforts of State Parks staff and volunteers and is supported by the non-profit Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers. The Lightstation is open to the public only through docent-led tours. (See below for tour access information.)
Opened in 1958, the former Point Sur Naval Facility (NAVFAC) was once part of a worldwide network of defensive listening stations that tracked the movement of Soviet submarines. The Point Sur NAVFAC is one of only a handful of remaining Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) facilities and is the only one on the West Coast open to public interpretation. Most other SOSUS facilities were incorporated into larger military complexes, while Point Sur was established as a stand-alone, self-sufficient base.
Except for one building retained by the U. S. Navy, the former Point Sur NAVFAC was transferred to State Parks in 2000. Park employees, volunteers and the Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers have been instrumental in recent restoration efforts which have made it possible to open the facility for tours.
The park is located 19 miles south of Carmel along Highway 1.
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is advised.
Tours - Activities
Three hour walking tours of the Point Sur Lightstation are offered Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. This is a volunteer led tour, with a rise in elevation of 360 feet and two stairways, the longer having 61 steps. Meet along the west side of Highway 1 at the farm gate, 19 miles south of Rio Road in Carmel, 1/4 mile north of the historic Point Sur Naval Facility. Tour fees are $15 for Adults, $5 for ages 6-17, age 5 and under free.
Tours of the historic Point Sur Naval Facility are offered at 10:30 a.m. each Saturday. NAVFAC tours are approximately 90 minutes. To attend a tour, meet along the west side of Highway 1 at the locked gate, 19 miles south of Rio Road in Carmel. Look for the wood sign with the words "Point Sur Naval Facility" on the west shoulder 1/4 mile south of the Point Sur Lightstation gate. Tour fees are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-17, age 5 and under free.
Space is limited for all tours due to the historic nature of the park- arrive 30 minutes early, especially during holiday or break seasons as tours fill up. Tours are first come, first served, reservations are not accepted due to the remote nature of this park. For more information call (831) 625-4419 or go to pointsur.org to confirm tour information. Tour times change throughout the year and may be cancelled due to inclement weather.
Accessibility Information - Exhibits/Programs
Tours of the historic NAVFAC are conducted on level or modestly-graded, paved ground. Tours of the lightstation include a strenuous, steep and unshaded walk. With prior arrangement, visitors with disabilities who can transfer to a park sedan may arrange a ride to a drop-off point above the lighthouse where they may view some of the restored lightstation buildings. A narrow path and a steep run of stairs lead down to the lighthouse. Those who cannot make the stairs can get a good view from the landing above them. Roadway conditions and lack of vehicle staging and turning space exclude private vehicles. Pending projects may enhance accessibility to at least some of the structures. A portable restroom is located at the base of the hill. Limited dirt or gravel roadside parking is available. Call for more information.
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