|Thousands of Elephant Seals (海象) in action on
6 miles of Beach in California
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In the winter season from December to March, thousands of elephant seals (海象) come on the 6 miles of
beach as their breeding rookery just off California Highway 1. The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery
spreads over 6 miles of shoreline around Point Piedras Blancas on the central coast of California. The
viewing areas are located about four and a half miles north of Hearst Castle State Historical Monument in
San Simeon, about 14 miles north of Cambria, and 1.5 miles south of Point Piedras Blancas, California.
The viewing areas are open every day of the year, are wheelchair accessible, and free. No reservations
required. It is one of the best wild animal viewing sites in the country and it is free! The large parking lot off
Highway 1 at this elephant seal rookery is marked as Elephant Seal Vista Point on Google Maps as shown
in the following:
Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Elephant Seal Vista Point
If you zoom in on Satellite (Aerial) View of Google Map for this location, you can see many elephant seals
on the beach to the right (southeast) of the parking lot on Google Map. If you enter the destination as
"Elephant Seal Vista Point in San Simeon", the Google Maps GPS Navigator on a smartphone will guide
your driving to this location.
We came on February 20, 2016 to enjoy watching thousands of elephant seals in action on the beach.
One of many breeding pairs of elephant seals. Such breeding pairing is one of the main functions of the
breeding season and is happening here and there frequently throughout the large rookery/beach area.
Huge number of elephant seals on the beach.
Two views of baby elephant seals sucking milk from the mothers. Pups weigh 60 to 80 lbs at birth and are 3 to
4 ft long. When weaned at 28 days, they weigh between 250 and 350 lbs. February 20 is near the tail end of
the breeding season, these babies probably were born 3 or 4 weeks ago and have grown up to about 300 lbs.
The male adult elephant seals (海象) grow to as much as 5,000 lbs and 16 ft long. The females grow to
as much as 1,800 lbs and 12 ft.
Huge number of elephant seals on the large Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery just off California Highway 1.
Many visitors along the fenced boardwalk watching the elephant seals at very close distance.
The parking lot just off the California Highway 1 for visitors to park to watch elephant seals.
Another view of the parking lot along California Highway 1, visitors on the fenced boardwalk along the beach
rookery and many elephant seals on the beach.
I took several movie clips of these elephant seals, especially the big males in action on such rookery beach and
uploaded the movie to the Youtube website at:
Please take a look.
Many visitors are enjoying watching all these elephant seals in action.
Panoramic view from a Scenic Overlook on Route 46 when we were driving from Paso Robles to Cambria on
our way to the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery on California Highway 1. An expanded version of this
panoramic view is on my web page at:
Stunning view of the lush green mountains. Winter season is the raining season in California coastal areas.
After plenty of rain, the mountains are very green on February 20, 2016 when we were driving from San
Francisco Bay area to the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery.
Two vews of the Pacific Ocean near the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery.
From the Scenic Overlook on Route 46, zoom in on the Morro Bay and Morro Rock which is about 18 miles to
Two more locations to see many elephant seals on the beach in California in winter season are:
1. Chimney Rock area and Drake Beach area in Point Reyes National Seashore at 1 Drakes Beach Rd,
Inverness, CA 94937. It is located approximately 30 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 1 along the west
coast of California. Due to the high volume of traffic out to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas during the
elephant seal pupping and mating season, the park will be operating a shuttle bus system from the Drakes
Beach parking lot (usually from New Year's to Easter each year on weekends and holidays--weather
permitting). Sir Francis Drake Boulevard from South Beach to the Lighthouse and Chimney Rock areas WILL
BE CLOSED during shuttle operating hours. On weekend and holidays with large number of visitors, visitors
need to buy ticket for shuttle bus and get on shuttle bus to go to Chimney Rock area to see elephant seals.
2. Año Nuevo State Reserve State Park at 1 New Years Creek Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060, near Highway 1. It
is about 60 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of Santa Cruz. You must be on a guided walk to
view elephant seals during the winter season. A reservation ahead of time is required.
From California Highway 1, zoom in on the Hearst Castle high on the mountains.