New guided northern elephant seal tours begin in January
—The California Department of Parks and Recreation has launched new guided northern elephant seal tours at Hearst San Simeon State Park. Experience a fun, educational tour of the area’s most charismatic megafauna guided by knowledgeable State Park Interpreters. On the tour you will enjoy learning about the elephant seal lifecycle while overlooking battling bulls, birthing cows, and cackling pups. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars for a spectacular wildlife experience like you have never seen before!
Tours begin the first weekend of January and run through the end of March. California State Parks Staff will be onsite to greet tour-goers at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For safety reasons, viewing access is only permitted when accompanied by trained park staff during the tour. Tours will meet at one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline that Hearst San Simeon State Park has to offer, located 2.25 miles north of the Hearst Castle Entrance on the oceanside of HWY 1 (35°39’11.04″N, 121°13’18.83″W). The tour to see the elephant seals includes a 45 minute, 1/2 mile guided trail walk, and is considered easy with varied terrain.
Tickets are $13 per person and onsite parking is free. Tickets are available for purchase on the day of the tour only at the meeting location mentioned above, or at the Hearst Castle Visitor Services Office: 750 Hearst Castle Road, San Simeon, CA 93452.
In addition to the tour, parks and rec recommends a visit to the Piedras Blancas Northern Elephant Seal Rookery Viewing Area, 4.5 miles north of Hearst Castle on HWY 1, open daily, free to all visitors, and featuring ADA access to all viewing boardwalks.
Visit the park webpage at www.parks.ca.gov/HearstSanSimeonSP for more information and to check out the Piedras Blancas Seal Cam to see who is on the beach.
Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.