Ano Nuevo State Reserve

  • A Karen Brown Recommendation

Thirty miles south of Half Moon Bay is the Año Nuevo State Reserve, home to elephant seals whose huge males with their trunk-like snouts reach a whopping 6,000 pounds. From mid-December to the end of March park docents conduct a 3-mile round-trip hike to the breeding grounds of these car-size mammals. Reservation lines open in October for the following season (800-444-7275). If you are not able to book several months in advance, call the park directly at 650-879-2025 and they may be able to advise you if last-minute tickets are available. We have, in the past, secured tickets by arriving at 8:30 am and queuing at the entrance booth for tickets for tours that day. Outside of the breeding season obtaining permits to view the seals (there are often also a great many sea lions in residence) is not a problem: tickets are issued on arrival and you follow the well-marked path to the distant beach where the seals are found. Outside of the breeding season, the best time to visit is during July and August when the juvenile males return to molt. During molting season we advise staying up-wind of the seals for obvious reasons.



Ano Nuevo State Reserve
Ano Nuevo, California
Tel: 650-879-2025

Ano Nuevo, California
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