S.F. Bay Area — No. California
Año Nuevo State Reserve
Walking Tour Tips
Walking Tour Tips
Año Nuevo's Guided Nature Walks are considered
moderately strenuous and not for people who are out of shape. Be prepared to walk up and down
rolling sand dunes.
Paths are sandy and might be muddy on rainy days.
Stay with your group (and docent) at all times
and don't get too close to the Elephant Seals. Beware of Ticks
and Poison Oak...and watch for Endangered Snakes.
A good portion
of the hiking trail on the way back to the Visitors Center and parking
lot is on a slight incline.
Restrooms are located by
main Visitor Center building. There are also restrooms at the Staging Area.
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.
According to Wikipedia.com, Male Elephant
Seals reach a length of
18 ft (5.5 m) and a weight of 5,000 lbs (2,270 kg), which are much larger than
the females that usually measure about 10 ft (3 m) in length.
The largest known Male Elephant Seal measured
30 ft (6.7 m) in length and weighed 7,490 lbs (3400 kg).
Here are a few Photography Tips to help
you get better pictures on your visit:
- Schedule a morning tour to allow for the best photos. By mid-day the sun will be in front of you and reduce the quality of your photos.
- Charge your Digital Camera Batteries the day before the trip & bring
an extra battery.
- Bring an extra Digital Memory Card - they're inexpensive
and you will want to snap lots of photos.
- Bring a Tripod or Monopod to help steady the camera.
- The Elephant Seals are not constantly active. You will need to be ready to instantly snap the picture when the action starts.
- After your trip, load the photos into a Web Photo Service listed
on this page and instantly share your experience with your friends,
family and business associates.
Guided Walks take place Rain or Shine. Be prepared
for high winds, heavy rains and cold temperatures. Wear hooded
rain gear, layered clothing and comfortable sturdy
walking shoes. Pack a change of socks. Umbrellas are not permitted.
During warm sunny days, you may want to wear
a hat or visor. Be sure to bring sunglasses, sun block,
suntan lotion and bottled water. Bring binoculars if you have them.
Note: Cell phones must be turned off during the tour — you
don't want to alarm an Elephant Seal!
The "25 Feet" Rule
Be sure to stay at least 25 feet away
from the Wild Elephant Seals — even though they're big, they can cover
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. Elephant Seal Guided Tours are educational and fun...for kids and adults alike
"Breeding Season" (from early
December through March) advanced tickets are required.
During the rest of the year (April-November)
self-guided walks are free.
Guided Walking Tours
Click Here for Elephant Seal
Guided Walking Tours and Pics
Elephant Seal Mating & Birthing
Click Here for Elephant
Mating & Birthing Info and Pics
Elephant Seal Pictures
Click Here for Elephant Seal Pics
Ano Nuevo State Reserve
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