Point Sur State Historic Park

UPDATE (March 31, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to the public until further notice, meaning all trails and restrooms within this park are closed.

In an effort to prevent visitation surges and help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), State Parks has implemented the following safety measures to date:
  • Closed some parks, meaning all trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
  • Closed vehicular access at remaining parks, including for off-highway vehicle riding.
  • Closed all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers.
  • Cancelled all events.

A list of closures is available online at parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. The list is dynamic and updated on a regular basis.

Phone Number

(831) 625-4419

Park Hours

Closed to public except by guided tour.

Driving Directions to Point Sur SHP

The park is located 15 miles south of Carmel along Highway 1.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Vista Point
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Museums
Family Programs
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking

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. 

Location-Directions
The park is located 19 miles south of Carmel along Highway 1.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
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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