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Ano Nuevo
State Reserve

Elephant Seal Guided Walking Tours

Walking Tour Tips

Elephant Seals "Mating"

Fun Elephant Seal Pictures



SF Bay Area
Events


Half Moon Bay/
Coastside


Seal Research Info

 

S.F. Bay Area — No. California
California Coastside
California Coastside Attractions
Año Nuevo State Reserve
Elephant Seal
Guided Walking Tours

- 1st Part of Tour
- 2nd Part of Tour

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 Walking Tours
800-444-4445
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 mid-afternoon.



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 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 of the tour — the Nature Walk. Make your way along the trail at your own pace — pass the old ship wreck to the Staging Area "meeting point" — about a mile 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. Join your group at the Staging Area "meeting point" and wait for the Docent to begin the tour.

Staging Area /
Elephant Seal Skull & Bones
Click Here for More Info and Pics of the Stage Area and Elephant Seal
Skull & Bones

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Ano Nuevo Island
During your tour, enjoy views of Ano Nuevo Island and its historical house, originally built for the lighthouse keepers. Today, the island is occupied by seals and sea lions, and the house is used by researchers.

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 dunes and 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. Don't 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 the tour. 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 :)


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).
Note: Free self-guided walks are available (April-November).

Educational & Fun
Elephant Seal Guided Tours are educational and fun...for kids and adults alike :)

Ano Nuevo Visitor Permit
Visitor Entrance to Ano Nuevo is by Visitor Permit only — all year round. The entrance fee to the Reserve is on a per vehicle basis ($6) and must be paid at the entrance station.

Directions To Ano Nuevo
Take Hwy 1 (south of Half Moon Bay) for 27 miles. Turn right at Ano Nuevo State Park entrance.


Walking Tour Tips / Recommended Dress /
Photography Tips

Click here for Walking Tour Tips, Recommended Dress, Photography Tips and more...

Elephant Seal Mating & Birthing
Click Here for Elephant Seal
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
Ano Nuevo State Park
650-879-0227
(Recorded Info)
800-444-4445
(Reservations)
916-414-8400
Eext. 4100
(Intl)


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in Half Moon Bay/Coastside

 

 

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Close-up picture of Male Elephant Seal at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Elephant Seal Guided Walking Tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

WOW...look at all those Wild Elephant Seals!

Elephant Seal at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, California

Deer along the trail at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Visitors Center at Ano Nuevo State Reserve - this is where you check in prior to your tour

Tour Group walking on the trail from the Visitor Center to the Stage Area "Meeting Point" where the Elephant Seal Guided Tour begins

Docent giving us tips prior to Guided Elephant Seal Tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Docent-led group during Elephant Seal Walking Tour at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Look for the Big Tree on the left at the top of the hill and join your tour group at the Stage Area "meeting point."

Look for the Big Tree on the left at the top of the hill and join your tour group at the Stage Area "meeting point."

Stop along the path to learn more about the Reserve

View of Ano Nuevo Island and historical buildings looking out from Ano Nuevo State Reserve. The house was built for lighthouse keepers. The island is now occupied by seals and sea lions and is used by researchers.

Sand dunes at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Museum inside Visitor Center at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Wreck of the Point Arena at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Old ship wreck on the trail at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, California

Coastal views from Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Walking over Sand Dunes at Ano Nuevo State Reserve during Elephant Seal Guided Tour

Elephant Seals during Mating & Birthing Season on the main beach at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Close-up of Wild Elephant Seal at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Male Elephant Seal enjoying a dip

Close-up of Male Elephant Seal taking a snooze

Elephant Seals basking in the sun at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Elephant Seals on the beach at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

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

Squirrel on the trail at Ano Nuevo State Park, California

Guided Walk Begin at Visitor Center

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