For the following general questions about hostels and Hostelling International, please see our general FAQ page. For specific questions about HI-Pigeon Point, click here to jump to this hostel's FAQs.
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What do I need for check-in?
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Can I bring my family to the hostel?
What time is check-in/check-out?
Can I sleep on the bottom bunk?
Do I need a key to get into my room?
Where can I park my car?
Can I bring my pets with me?
How can I use the hot tub?
Do I need to bring my own sheets and bedding?
Can I take a public bus to Pigeon Point?
Can I go inside the actual lighthouse?
What wildlife can I expect to see at Pigeon Point?
Where can I get food near the hostel?
We are located on the western side of Pigeon Point Road right next to the Pacific Ocean.
Yes, we offer private family rooms that can accommodate two to three people, as well as rooms with four to six twin bunk beds. All guests share bathrooms, kitchens, dining tables and living rooms at the hostel.
Check-in starts at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. sharp; please call if you think you may be late for check-in.
If you specifically require a bottom bunk, please call the hostel before you arrive to double-check the availability of lower bunk beds and request one for yourself. Not all guests can get a lower bunk and some may have to climb a ladder to access the upper bunk beds.
Yes, you will receive an electronic key card to your room and the main house. The key will let you inside both the main house and your room.
Guests must park in the parking lot off of Pigeon Point Road at the entrance to Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. Additional parking is permitted on the coastal side of Pigeon Point Road heading east towards Highway 1. Parking anywhere else will result in a ticket. Guests should park first and walk to the office to check in. You will need to provide staff with IDs for all adult guests and your automobile's make and model. Payment is required at check-in. If you have a lot of heavy belongings, you can request a five-minute permit to drive up to the entrance to unload or load your car. No motorcycles or automobiles are permitted to park in the driveway or on the hostel grounds. The driveway is a fire lane and must not be blocked or left unattended by vehicles.
The hostel and the California State Parks do not allow pets at the hostel. Service animals are allowed as specified by law. Please inform the front desk about your service animal when you make your reservation. Staff may ask you if your animal is required because of a disability and that you keep your service animal with you at all times and on a leash. Owners of service animals are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
Our hot tub is located on the edge of the cliffs next to the Fog Signal Building and is for use by overnight hostel guests only. The hot tub costs $8.00 per person per half hour and is open from 4:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Sign up begins each day at 3:30 p.m. and cannot be done over the phone. We strongly suggest you check in early if you want to use the hot tub. Guests checking in after 7 p.m. may not be able to get a hot tub slot.
There is a two-person minimum to use the hot tub; because there is no lifeguard on duty, solo bathing is not permitted. Please try to find a buddy before asking to sign up. There is a strict four-person maximum policy, as more than for people will cause the hot water to overflow and cause damage to the motor pump. Large groups may be given a limited number of hot tub slots.
Children 6 years of age and younger are not permitted in the tub area. Please bring your own towel or rent one from the hostel for $0.50. A changing room is located right next to the hot tub, so you do not need to walk from your room to the hot tub in your bathing suit. Please use the bathroom before entering the hot tub, as there is no bathroom near the hot tub. Food and beverages besides water are not permitted in the hot tub area. Please be aware that overnight refunds will not be issued for any reasons related to the hot tub. Mechanical breakdowns or acts of nature may force the hot tub to be closed at any time.
No. Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel provides clean sheets and bedding including a fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcase. You will be asked to make your own bed and to return the sheets before check-out. The hostel provides one blanket and one comforter with a duvet for each bed. Extra blankets can be requested during office hours. Towel rental is $0.50 per towel. If you bring your own sheets you can receive a $1 discount on your overnight total at check-in.l
Currently, there is no public transit to Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel. The closest public transportation stop is 5 miles north of Pigeon Point, in Pescadero. Coming from Santa Cruz, the closest bus stop is at Waddell Creek, 10 miles south of Pigeon Point. Most people drive to Pigeon Point. Please be aware that the GPS location of Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel is often wrong. Fog can also obscure views of the 115-foot tower and lights from Highway One.
Guests may sleep in the Coast Guard Family Quarters, which were built in the 1960s and converted into part of the hostel in 1981. The 115-foot-tall brick Light Station tower, built in 1872, is closed to the public. However, you may walk around the tower from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
State Park volunteers are available Thursday to Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (except in the event of rain). The volunteers run a gift store during these times in the Fog Signal Building where the original First Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens is on display. The lighthouse tower was closed to the public in December of 2001 when pieces of brick and metal fell from the top of the tower's exterior. The California State Parks Department is planning to restore the tower for public use, and the California State Park Foundation is coordinating fundraising efforts for the renovation.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel is an excellent locale to view wildlife. Planning your trip around major wildlife seasons will help you see the animals you want.
- Año Nuevo State Reserve is located 7 miles south of Pigeon Point and is the site of the largest mainland northern elephant seal breeding colony in the world! Seals can be viewed at the reserve all year 'round, but the breeding and birthing season is from December 15th to March 31st and requires a guided tour reservation through the park. Advance reservations can be made through Reserve America or by calling (800) 444-4445. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel saves 20 walk spots for the 10:00 a.m. walk. This offer is not available to groups of 8 or more and is only available to individuals and small families. Guests must sign up in advance in order to join the walks and must get a reservation slip from the hostel front desk before 9:00 a.m. on the day of the walk. Failure to pick up the slip before this time means you may not be able to go on the guided tour. Prices are currently $7 per person plus parking costs, payable at the park.
- The Pacific gray whale migration is from December to May, and whales can be seen right off the Pigeon Point deck -- especially during the northern migration of the female mother cows and their newborn calves from March to May. The calves swim slowly and close to shore and are very visible in the early morning or late evening.
- Pacific harbor seals can often be seen on the low-tide rocky islands just off the Point or near Prisoner's Rock, south of Whaler's Cove at Pigeon Point.
- Inter-tidal animals and other sea life can be seen all around the rocky Point, but they're best viewed on the northern side of Pigeon Point during low tides. Please visit this website to better schedule your tide pool visits. You will need a two-foot-high tide or lower and the Minus tides in the spring are the best. Scheduling your trip around the full or new moon will increase your chances of being here during a really low tide. Common animals you may see are sea stars, anemones, barnacles, sea snails, hermit crabs, muscles, urchins, and abalones.
- Pescadero Marsh is one of the last coastal marshes left undeveloped in California. The marsh is located 4 miles north of Pigeon Point off of Highway 1. The marsh is an excellent place to go bird watching in the early morning and with binoculars many shore birds and large birds like Great Blue Herons and Giant Egrets may be seen.
- Butano State Park is a beautiful Coastal Redwood Forest and offers miles of hiking trails. Located only 7 miles from Pigeon Point on Cloverdale road off of Gazo Creek Road.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel has self-service kitchens where you can prepare and eat any food you bring with you. Each kitchen features a four-burner gas stove, oven, microwave, refrigerators, coffee maker, hot water heater, and a triple sink. Please label your food with your name and the date. Each kitchen offers a dining table that can seat up to 8 people at a time. For large groups we have a dining hall that can seat up to 30 people.
There are three grocery stores not far from the hostel in the small local town of Pescadero. They often close very early and have limited options, but they do carry some unique local favorites.
- One is inside the gas station/taqueria called Taqueria de Amigos. They are open until 9:00p.m. at the latest and stock a small selection of groceries. The taqueria itself is very authentic and often gets rave reviews from our guests and the media.
- Another store is the Pescadero Country Store, which is open daily from 8:00a.m.–6:00 p.m. It has recently been renovated and features a deli and wood-fired brick-oven pizza. It also has a bar, outdoor weekend BBQ's with lots of picnic tables, and live music. On Thursdays from 3:00p.m–6:00p.m they host the local farmers' market.
- The last store in Pescadero is Arcangeli Grocery Co / Norm's Market, which is open daily from 10:00a.m.-6:00p.m. They are famous for their Italian- and French-style breads, which you can purchase hot and fully baked or par-baked to bring home. The garlic-herb artichoke bread is very popular. Arcangeli also has a meat department.
- Don't miss Pescadero's famous Harley Farm Goat Dairy, which is open daily from 10:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and features delicious samples of goat cheese right next to the farm.
- A short drive from the center of town, on Pescadero Road, Phipps Country Store and Farm features a large selection of dried beans, as well as an animal and berry farm that is fun for kids to visit.
- Three miles south of Pigeon Point is the Gazo's Creek Gas Station/mini mart, which is open until 5:00p.m.
- The Highway 1 Brewing Co. is also popular for food and drinks.
- Four miles south of Pigeon Point is Coastanoa resort's Cascade Bar & Grill and the General Store, the only natural foods store in the area. www.costanoa.com