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. Current state guidance requires that masks must be worn in all indoor public settings, such as museums and visitor centers, irrespective of vaccine status through February 15, 2022. Read the latest COVID-19 guidance at COVID19.ca.gov.
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 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. (See above 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.
Facilities - Activities
Three hour walking tours of the Lightstation are generally offered on weekends year-round, and seasonally on Wednesdays. 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 to confirm 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. 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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