Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery: Address, Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery Reviews: 4.5/5

Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery

Carpinteria Harbor Seal Preserve and Rookery
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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4.5
125 reviews
Excellent
82
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Average
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1
Terrible
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K2Travels
Las Vegas, NV399 contributions
Couples
On our final full day in Carpinteria, we decided not to wander too far out of the area. We had already visited Santa Barbara and Solvang, so we decided to see what Carpinteria had to offer. Our first stop was the Seal Sanctuary so we entered the address into our Google Maps and it took us directly to a small parking lot. Parking here was free unlike the surrounding beaches. It’s a bit of a walk along the trail so people with mobility issues may not be able to traverse the unsaved path. Signage is pretty good in getting one in the right direction and once one crosses the railroad tracks you’re very near. Keep in mind these are active train tracks for Amtrak so check before crossing. The viewing area is very small but one is rewarded with views from the bluff of seals and their pups as well as many types of birds. It’s quite enjoyable to just gaze out over the seals and the ocean. There isn’t information available regarding the seals and bird life posted and no other services are available. Still, for a quiet, relaxing walk and seal viewing, it’s quite nice.
Written February 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

April A
Los Angeles, CA2 contributions
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.

Martha E
1 contribution
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.

KeithYubaCity_Ca
Yuba City, CA98 contributions
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.

Richard D
Fennville, MI143 contributions
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.

Debbi C
Anaheim, CA12 contributions
Family
Beautiful walk to look down spot on the rookery. Many seals, moms and pups and young ones playing in water. Easy walk to black and Tar Pits area with many bird.
Written March 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SueSuitecase
Salt Lake City, UT113 contributions
It's a bit of a walk to get to the point that you can view the seals from the cliff edge. On the day we visited (Jan 23, 2020), only about 50 seals were laying on the beach. They do not move much, and from the only viewpoint which is overhead from the cliff's edge, you cannot see very much detail, but it is exciting to see wildlife in its natural habitat, and the walk is very beautiful! Keep walking north and the trail will lead down to the beach beyond the seal area, and you will come upon Tar PItt Beach. It is really cool to see black tar oozing up from the earth! We took flip flops we could toss but didn't get any tar on our feet after all.
Written January 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

marierm
Los Angeles, CA109 contributions
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.

brendamR568UK
Carpinteria, CA30 contributions
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.

WolfmanChina
Kirkland, WA18 contributions
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.

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