Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles128 reviews
Excellent
84
Very good
27
Average
15
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Richard D
Fennville, MI139 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
Four of us visited last week. It is a little tricky to find. GPS directions brought us to a private oil company facility just north, so we had to drive back south to find the public parking area for the preserve. The rookery viewpoint is not well marked, but usually you can ask someone on the trails to point you. Careful—you need to cross the railroad tracks on your own.
The viewpoint is on a bluff well above the beach, so binoculars are helpful. The friendly volunteers who are there during certain hours informed us that around 50 seal pups had been born within the last few weeks. We could see many of them clearly, and it was fun to see them follow their mothers around and for some of them to swim. There aren’t any educational displays, so might want to read up in advance.
Written March 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martha E
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Solo
This is a beautiful easy trail but, know that you CANNOT park at the end of Dump Road. It is privately held and monitored by security. You CAN park at the main intersection with Carpenteria street, park there, WALK down Dump road to the path intersection right after the railroad tracks. This access puts you in the middle of the trail.
Written September 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KeithYubaCity_Ca
Yuba City, CA100 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Like others the GPS will put you on private property with big signs saying No Trespassing. But we did find the small parking area south of the private business and walked to the Rookery. It is a little more than a quarter mile hike and it is right along the ocean. Once we got to the area above the rookery, we were disappointed in that there were no seals on the beach at all. There were only 2 seals swimming out among the rocks offshore. So that was kind of a letdown, but the short hike was nice.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

April A
Los Angeles, CA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
Stopped here on the way back to LA with the kids. It was a nice easy (short) hike from the parking lot off the Bailard exit on the 101. I did it with my 6, 9, and 11 year old notorious complainers and I didn't get a single whine as we walked to the bluffs overlooking the seal preserve. We went in February and saw plenty of adult seals and even quite a few babies. Definitely a wonderful 45 minute side trip.
Written February 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marierm
Los Angeles, CA113 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020
You will only see seals here when they are birthing and raising their pups between January and May. The rest of the year you will not see seals, and there will be noise from the pier, but it's a lovely hike. Extend the hike by walking through to Carpenteria State Beach.
Written May 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brendamR568UK
Carpinteria, CA29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Couples
The Rookery is quite close to where I live and hike on a near daily basis. The trails are great and the View is Spectacular… looking the other way when you get to the Oil Well Wharf, where they transport for the Rigs. There are signs posted so you do NOT enter their area, you will be chased down and fined ! From the bluffs, the view is direct and clear of the Rookery. Of course, the numbers change with the seasons and mating times. This year, the seals quit feeding their pups too early, due to the lack of fish in the warm sea waters close to shore, and many of them have died, finally some persons complained and now there is a rescue movement for these unfortunate pups. Just south of Carpinteria, and 15 miles south of Santa Barbara, this is one of the loveliest bluff areas to strole, hike, beach walk, look at the sunset. There is parking, walking paths and a docent there at the overlook to answer you questions. The area is rich with history (Museum), local brewery, local coffee houses , restaurants, boutique shipping, State Park and long gorgeous beaches. Worth every mile to get here !
Written March 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WolfmanChina
Kirkland, WA18 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2014 • Family
We have been to the preserve several times. Parking at the State Beach parking lot, getting to the preserve is a pleasant coastwise hike along easy and occasionally moderate trails. There are native brush varieties, Torrey pines, and wonderful cliff views as you stroll through the Tar Pits park and up toward the bluffs.

Listen carefully for the sound of seals. Approach quietly and with care, and you'll often be greeted by seals frolicking in the kelp beds offshore. Stay clear of the beaches: this is a rookery, and too much human activity will keep the animals away.

If you are on 101 on a drive up or down the coast, take my advice: get off the road at Carpenteria, stretch your legs, and take an hour for this hike. You won't regret it.
Written May 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RoP
Los Angeles, CA62 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Friends
We loved our day trip to Carpenteria Harbor Seal Preserve. We visited in early March. It is such a joy to look at the seals and their babies lying lazily in the sun or being playful. We parked our car a bit further than the harbor, so we walked for about 15 minutes to get to the harbor. The walking path was serene, full of blooming flowers and green. This place is perfect for families with kids because of the seals.
Written April 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Deb H
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Couples
A small walk to overlook the seals but well worth it. Nature at its best. Had a few baby seals too. So neat.
Written December 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob T
San Diego, California347 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
After a half-mile hike from the parking lot off Ballard, we were disappointed to see -- from a height of a couple hundred feet and a distance of maybe a quarter mile -- about 30 harbor seals lying inert on the sand. There was more excitement in getting close to a roadrunner on the way back to the car!

If you're going to visit, you'll probably see more action early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Written April 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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