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Ano Nuevo
State Reserve

Elephant Seal Guided Walking Tours

Walking Tour Tips

Elephant Seals "Mating"

Fun Elephant Seal Pictures

Elephant Seal
Skull & Bones

SF Bay Area

Half Moon Bay/

Marine Life Research Info 

S.F. Bay Area — No. California
California Coastside
California Coastside Attractions
Año Nuevo State Reserve
Elephant Seal Walking Tour Tips
and Photography 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 the parking lot; not in the 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).

Photography Tips
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.

Recommended Dress
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 a long distance in only three seconds.

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 Seal
Mating & Birthing Info and Pics

Elephant Seal Pictures
Click Here for Elephant Seal Pics

Ano Nuevo State Reserve
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in Half Moon Bay/Coastside


Watch for Endangered Snakes at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, California Coast

Ano Nuevo's hiking paths are sandy andmight be muddy on rainy days

Walkers on the Elephant Seal Tour Hiking Trail at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Elephant Seal on the beach at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Wild Elephant Seal at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Squirrel on the trail at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, California

Looking down from Sand Dunes above beach at Wild Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo Reserve

Enjoy stunning coastal views at Ano Nuevo State Reserve. Self-guided walks are offered April-November, however during Breeding Season (early December thru' March) advanced tickets are required

School buses at Ano Nuevo State Reserve. The Elephant Seal Guided Tours are educational and fun for kids and adults alike


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