Closed to public except by guided tour.
Point Sur State Historic Park
Statewide, many parks and beaches are temporarily closed or have very limited access to ensure Californians are abiding and practicing physical distancing. The goals are to make sure people are safe and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. To view the list of closures and what they mean to the public, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.
DOLAN FIRE - WHAT'S OPEN UPDATE
California State Parks has reopened Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Andrew Molera State Park, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for active recreation. Some walking trails are open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis. Social distancing protocols of maintaining a 6-ft distance and wearing masks are required. Point Sur State Historic Park will resume tours of the exterior of the Pt Sur Lightstation and the Naval Facility on October 10.
Note: The Andrew Molera campground remains closed.
Also opened is the Soberanes Canyon Trail in Garrapata State Park –located on the east side of Highway 1. California State Parks continues to work to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved.
Due to the Dolan Fire burning across the southern region of Monterey County, California State Parks urges the public to avoid traveling to impacted areas/park units in Monterey County due to safety and health concerns for any visitors.
Current Park Closures
The following State Parks, including all campgrounds, day use areas, and hiking trails, are already closed due to fire and/or traffic concerns on Highway 1 in the greater vicinity of the Dolan Fire:
- Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
- John Little State Natural Reserve
- Limekiln State Park
California State Parks is asking for the public’s cooperation by adhering to park closures due to fire impacts and public safety concerns. Your assistance is appreciated!
For additional information about the Dolan Fire, please see the below resources:
POINT SUR LIGHTSTATION and NAVAL FACILITY TOURS RESUME
In keeping with Covid-19 guidelines, we are excited to reopen for tours again using a Phase One approach. Tours will resume on Saturday, October 10th, 2020. Access to Point Sur is by tour only. More information on tours, tour schedules, and accessibility accommodation is at this website: www.pointsur.org by calling 831-625-4419.
We require all tour attendees to follow these Tour Guidelines during COVID-19:
- All tours are conducted outside only; there is no entrance into buildings, including the lighthouse.
- Each tour is limited to a maximum of 20 visitors total.
- Masks must be worn at all times, and Social Distancing between attendees is required.
- Anyone feeling ill, having a fever or recently exposed to Covid-19 will not be admitted.
- Tours are held on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not accepted.
- Only Credit cards are accepted for payment at this time. No cash or checks, please.
ABOUT POINT SUR LIGHTSTATION
The Point Sur Lightstation sits 361 feet above the surf on a large volcanic rock. 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 park staff, State Park volunteers and the non-profit Central Coast Lighthouse Keepers. The Lightstation is open to the public only through docent-led tours.
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.
Facilities - Activities
Three hour walking tours of the Lightstation are generally offered on weekends year-round, and seasonally on Wednesdays. As noted above, lightstation tours are currently unavailable due to construction. Tours of the former Point Sur NAVFAC are being offered at 10 a.m. each Saturday and Sunday. NAVFAC tours are about 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. Space is limited -- arrive 30 minutes early. Call the park or go to pointsur.org for tour information.
Accessibility Information - Exhibits/Programs
Tours of the former 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, which is not open to the public. 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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