Chimney Rock on Point Reyes in Inverness, California
Chimney Rock is a prominent point that protects Drakes Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore from winds and waves coming off the Pacific.
The parking lot at Chimney Rock gives visitors access to several interesting places. First there is the Point Reyes Historic Lifeboat Station which is open to the public and requires a short walk to access. It has exhibits to learn the history of these life-saving surf boats and even has a boat on display. The beach at the Lifeboat Station is closed to the public, but it often has seals and sea lions on the shore to observe. Second there is a short trail that leads out to a popular elephant seal rookery overlook. And lastly there is the hike out to Chimney Rock which is less crowded. This is a 3-mile round-trip hike out to the point looking down on Chimney Rock. The views from the point are distant but exceptional. All of the beaches at Chimney Rock are below steep cliffs and therefor inaccessible, or off-limits due to seal habitat, but you’ll find amazing Point Reyes beaches nearby. The Lighthouse at Point Reyes, which has a national park visitor center with exhibits and lighthouse access, is also nearby.
To get to Chimney Rock start in the small town of Inverness then take a long scenic drive out to the end of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The road splits near the end. The left branch follows the one-lane Chimney Rock Road to the Chimney Rock parking lot and the right branch ends at the Point Reyes Lighthouse parking lot. In the winter months you’ll have to pay a small fee and ride a shuttle bus from the parking lot at Drakes Beach.
Sir Francis Drake Blvd and Chimney Rock Rd
Inverness, CA 94937
- Park Name
- Point Reyes National Seashore, Point Reyes State Marine Reserve
- National Park
- Walking, Hiking, Wildlife Watching, Whale Watching
- Lighthouse, Visitor Center, Restrooms, Trails, Overlook, Wildflowers, Elephant Seal Rookery
- Pet Policy
- No dogs allowed on trail or beach
- Free parking, fee for shuttle in winter months