Cypress Tree Tunnel in Point Reyes National Seashore

If you follow travel photographers on Instagram, then chances are good that you have seen the famous Cypress Tree Tunnel of Point Reyes sometime in the last few years. It is hard to beat a spot this beautiful as the Cypress trees do literally grow into a tunnel over the road. It is not on the park map though, but they will tell you about it if you go to the visitors center, or you can read the information on it below.

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  • Best for sunset but it will be busy with other photographers

Getting There

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The cypress tree tunnel is located about halfway between the lighthouse and the visitors center. It is hard to miss, as you can see the trees coming for about a mile before you get there. That being said, there is no sign so you need to watch out for the sign that says “North District Operations Center” as this is where you will turn.

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Immediately when you turn you will see the trees and know you are in the right place. I have been before when there were a bunch of cars there blocking the shot, but last time I went it was raining so I had the spot all to myself. The rain wasn’t good for getting a beautiful sunset shot, but it worked great for taking my time and setting up some photos without other people. Here are a few I took.

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I went back again in 2016 and got some shots at sunset as well.

At the end of the drive is a building which was not open when I went, so I turned around and photographed the tunnel from the other direction as well.

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I am not sure which angle I like better; I would recommend that you do both if you are there and have the time.

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This is one of those rare spots that actually lives up to your expectations. I feel like a lot of places you see in people’s photos have been heavily edited, but I was amazed by the cypress tree tunnel when I saw it in real life. I highly recommend you make the trip out to photograph it and to explore the fantastic Point Reyes National Seashore while you are at it as well. Let me know what you thought in the comments.

Center map

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  • Lisa Van Dyke

    Hi Josh, I just wanted to say that I love your blog and all the wonderful and useful information you provide! I finally got the nerve to just go explore for fun and found your blog so informative to even someone like me who grew up in Sacramento. Thanks again for sharing your experiences!

    • Thanks for the comment! I am so glad the blog has been helpful and I am glad to hear you are exploring!

  • Joey Ma

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Josh! From your experience, how would I be able to park and spend a good 20 minutes there? Do I just park on the side of the road? I’m actually planning to propose there… 😀 Anything I should be aware of?

    • Thanks for the comment and congrats! There are a few parking spots at the end of the tree tunnel near the building. Also, the sign says it is open until sunset I think, so you want to make sure you are there before then, but that being said I haven’t seen the gate closed when I have gone. Let me know if you have more questions

  • Tess D

    Hi Josh, amazing photos, my favorite was the last one from the opposite side of tree tunnel. I just added to my “must go to” places. Thank you for sharing.

    • No problem, it is a great spot in California!

  • Nancy Burke

    The hubs and I are getting away for a long weekend soon and are flying into SF, renting a car and heading north. We are doing a bit of sightseeing/beachcombing/photography, and I would LOVE to see this spot! I and am wondering what is the best time of day for photos and/or least likely to be crowded. I know these are any photographer’s ideal conditions, but I am wanting to time it to increase my chances of getting a great shot, as we will not be back to the area for awhile. Also, any suggestions for hotels, B&B’s close by between this location and Bodega Bay? That’s as far north as we are planning on going this trip.

    • The best time for photos is usually later in the day when the lighting is better and less harsh. Sometimes the light rays even go through the trees as well. That being said, there will probably be other people there at this time as it is a popular spot. Most of the times I have been there a few other people are there. Usually it is not too bad though but it is hard to tell in the summer. As far as places to stay, the only town that is close to Point Reyes is Inverness. There are a few small hotels there or you can go further away from the park and stay in Point Reyes Station as well. Hope that helps!