S.F. Bay Area — No. California
Año Nuevo State Reserve
Elephant Seal Guided Walks
During Breeding Season
Special Elephant Seal
Guided Walks are available during "Breeding Season" — from
early December through March — when the seals come ashore
to give birth and mate.
Guided three-mile walks, over rolling sand dunes, last about 2 1/2 hours. The
first guided walk of every day begins at approximately 9am; the last walk is
NOTE: Unlike San Francisco's Pier 39 Sea Lions which grow to between
350-1,000 lbs, these Elephant Seals can weigh between 3,000-5,000
lbs each and reach up to 16 feet.
1st Part of Tour —
Self-Guided Nature Walk
When you arrive at Ano Nuevo, check in at the Visitor Center (photo
above) to confirm your tour — there's
also a small museum and gift shop in the building.
After a short briefing from a Park Guide, you'll be "on
your own" for the first part
the tour — the Nature Walk.
Make your way along the trail
(photo above) at your own pace — pass the old ship wreck
to the Staging
point" — about
away (approximately a 1/2 hour walk).
Staging Area "Meeting Point"
Look for the big
tree (to the left of the main clump of trees) at
the end of the trail.
group at the Staging Area "meeting
point" and wait for the Docent to begin
Staging Area /
Elephant Seal Skull & Bones
Click Here for More
Info and Pics of the Stage Area and Elephant Seal
Ano Nuevo Island
During your tour, enjoy views of Ano Nuevo Island (photo below)
and its historical house, originally built for the lighthouse
Today, the island is
occupied by seals and sea lions, and the house is used by
2nd Part of Tour —
Guided Elephant Seal Tour
After a brief intro by the Docent, the Guided Tour
begins as you wind your way through the reserve, over the sand
onto the beach.
Enjoy several stops along the way to
hear about the Elephant Seals, the area's history and to admire
spectacular ocean and coastal views.
forget to bring your binoculars — you might get lucky and
see a pod of whales :)
Note: Your first glimpse of the Elephant Seals
is about 45 minutes into the tour — overlooking
the small Bachelors Beach.
Elephant Seals are dotted along the sand dunes,
but the majority of them are scattered on the main beach, about
an hour into
When you DO see them, they're pretty amazing!
There's plenty of time to take pictures and
watch them as they interact with each other — depending on the
time of year, you may see them "Mating," "Birthing," "Playing," "Molting" ...
or just basking in the sun :)
Educational & Fun
Elephant Seal Guided Tours are educational and
fun...for kids and adults alike :)
Reserve Your Tour in Advance
Be sure to make your tour reservations well in
advance — they are very popular and sell out quickly, especially
during peak times. Guided Tour Tickets are $5 per person (December-March).
Free self-guided walks are available (April-November).
Ano Nuevo Visitor
Visitor Entrance to Ano Nuevo is by Visitor Permit
only — all
year round. The entrance fee to the Reserve is on a per vehicle
and must be paid at the
Directions To Ano Nuevo
Take Hwy 1 (south of Half Moon Bay) for 27 miles. Turn right at Ano Nuevo State
Walking Tour Tips / Recommended
Click here for Walking Tour Tips,
Recommended Dress, Photography Tips and more...
Elephant Seal Mating & Birthing
Click Here for Elephant
Mating & Birthing Info and Pics
Elephant Seal Pictures
Click Here for Elephant Seal Pics
Año Nuevo State Reserve
West of Hwy 1
Bet. Half Moon Bay & Santa Cruz
Back to main Ano Nuevo State Reserve page
More Info & Reservations
Nuevo State Park
Eext. 4100 (Intl)
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in Half Moon Bay/Coastside