Big Love!

Hike to the Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Reserve

The bad boys of the beach are back, and they’re looking for a little lovin’. Every year at this time, elephant seals converge on one of their favorite breeding grounds, 13 miles south of Pescadero on the San Mateo coast: Año Nuevo State Park.

Hike to the elephant seals at Año Nuevo State Park

Book a guided hike (through March) and you’ll be privy to one of nature’s most amazing shows: two-and-a-half-ton male seals vying for the alpha status among a harem of discerning female seals.

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Be forewarned, things can get downright bullish. Regardless, the behemoth seals are indeed a sight to behold, beauty and beast all at once. You can’t get super close (a minimum distance of 25 feet is required), so a zoom lens is helpful.

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To see it, join one of the reserve’s guided tours—daily outings to the rookery that get you as close as possible to the scene, without disrupting it. Wildlife first! Bring a camera to capture the, um, action.

Año Nuevo State Reserve is 55 miles south of San Francisco on Hwy. 1.Reservations are required for guided walks to the rookery.

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