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Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Features Animals
Open Now: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Open today: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Review Highlights
Natural Beauty - Elephant Seals - Birds & Wildlife

Ano Nuevo State Beach and Reserve is not to be missed! This is a secluded, but very beautiful spot... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Amazing panoply of animals

The highlight of visiting here is the Elephant Seals. Trails lead to at least 3 viewing sites that... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Olympia, Washington
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  • Excellent73%
  • Very good21%
  • Average5%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“elephant seals”(157 reviews)
“sand dunes”(30 reviews)
“ano nuevo”(26 reviews)
Home to the largest mainland seal colony in the world.
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Hours Today: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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New Years Creek Road, Pescadero, CA
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All reviews elephant seals sand dunes ano nuevo guided tour the reserve breeding season mile hike beautiful hike education center miles round trip amazing animals in advance parking lot nice walk viewing area long hike drinking water
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Reviewed 5 days ago

Ano Nuevo State Beach and Reserve is not to be missed! This is a secluded, but very beautiful spot to visit, on California's Highway 1, North, between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. There is a California State Park fee to enter, $10.00 (adults), and...More

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank ChicagoHiker2
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The highlight of visiting here is the Elephant Seals. Trails lead to at least 3 viewing sites that had docents who explained the goings on. We were within about 10-15' of some of the seals. Great photo opportunities. There were also a lot of sea...More

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank Hal72
Reviewed March 20, 2019

To really get the flavor of this place, you must be willing to walk about 3 miles round trip with about a 1/4 mile (each way) in heavy sand. That said, the rest of the trail and boardwalks are well maintained and easy. There is...More

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank petecilley
Reviewed March 19, 2019

The place to se the enormous and majestic elephant seals in the breeding season. February supposed to be best. Guided tours, but if you are lucky you may find seals freely on the beach. Keep a distance!

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank ErlingMM
Reviewed February 28, 2019

We had a reservation and had disabled service to the viewing area. The driver and docent were great. They knew all the answers to our questions.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Elizabeth M
Reviewed January 16, 2019

3 miles round trip on a guide-driven tour will take you out to see the elephant seals who migrate here every year. Fascinating & memorable!

Date of experience: January 2019
Thank Gerri B
Reviewed January 6, 2019

First, you do need to pay a very nominal fee (I think it was ~$10/ person) and make a reservation. During certain times of the year, they require a guided tour with a docent to see the bulk of the elephant seals that are in...More

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank syd21300
Reviewed January 3, 2019

We really enjoyed the short walk and the beach this state park had to offer. A little disappointed to find out you had to pay extra (and wait) for a tour to see the elephant seals. However, upon heading to the beach, we found several...More

Date of experience: January 2019
1  Thank Lizwold
Reviewed January 1, 2019

We came by in July and enjoyed a our hike, we were able to see many elephant seals and enjoyed the visitors center. You do need to bring your own water and be prepared to spend a few hours here. Also bring layers, it can...More

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank Marisa B
Reviewed October 22, 2018

The park offers beautiful views but the hike to see the elephant seals ended up being 4 miles of some up and down dune walking for a reward of only a few elephant seals quite a distance away from the viewing area. Well-informed and wonderful...More

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Zuzka E
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Questions & Answers
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Joe M
January 28, 2019|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from syd21300 | Reviewed this property |
The day we went there was several young children and even a baby (the Dad carried him in a front pack). Everyone's kiddos are different and handle situations differently, but I could tell about 3/4 of the way through the... More
July 29, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Grace R | Reviewed this property |
I remember the volunteer docent said that the elephant seals are present all year but molting from April to August.
April 25, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from AmySue1981 | Reviewed this property |
I think you can always see seals here, but the number varies by season. We were there in March and the weaning seals were just getting ready to head out to sea for the first time. There were very few adults, and everything... More