Experience state parks year round.
Treat yourself to an unforgettable wildlife drama at the site of the northern elephant seal's largest mainland breeding colony in the world. February is one of the best times to see these behemoths come ashore to rest, mate, and give birth.
Photo Credit: David Assmann
Año Nuevo State Park is 55 miles south of San Francisco between the Pacific Ocean and Highway 1.
It's winter, and you will definitely want to see the elephant seals! Año Nuevo State Park is the site of the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal, and the interpretive program has attracted increasing interest every winter for the past 19 years. People who hope to see the seals during the winter breeding season are urged to get their reservations early. The males battle for mates on the beaches and the females give birth to their pups on the dunes. Elephant seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals come ashore to rest, mate, and give birth in the sand dunes or on the beaches and offshore islands. It is a unique and unforgettable natural spectacle that hundreds of thousands of people come to witness each year.
From December 15 to March 31 you must be on a guided walk to view the seals. You can book your walk in advance online. Please read Año Nuevo Guided Walks for more information before calling (800) 444-4445 for reservations.
February CSPF Highlight: Registration for CSPF’s Annual Park Advocacy Day in March is now open. Be sure to register on our website, calparks.org/PAD.
Some tips to make your trip to Año Nuevo even better: