Point Sur State Historic Park

Update (December 13, 2020): California has issued a Regional Stay at Home Order to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases and prevent a strain on the health care system. This action will help protect critical care for patients. While the order includes the closure of campground sites in impacted regions, the state also recognizes that mental health is physical health. As such, day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public will remain open. Members of the same household are encouraged to stay local and recreate responsibly in the outdoors. Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • This unit is closed to the public.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Closed at this park:
  • Public tours and access.

Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain temporarily closed until further notice or will be temporarily closed in accordance with the new Regional Stay at Home Order. More information here.   
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
  • Stay LocalStay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you or someone in your household is sick.
  • Plan Ahead The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.
  • Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. in some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities. 
  • Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(831) 625-4419

Park Hours

Closed to public except by guided tour.

Dogs Allowed?

No
Public access for tours only. Dogs not allowed.

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

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. 

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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