Page 53 - SLO Visitors Guide Summer/Fall 2020
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Cambria, San Simeon, North Coast
View thousands of elephant seals along Hwy. 1
 Elephant seals started landing on the beach of Northern Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas as early as 1990. Prior to that a group of seals had started colonizing a beach at Gordo, but they were not easily accessible or noticeable. The only other mainland colonies of elephant seals at the time were at Ano Nuevo and Point Reyes.
Thanks to the development of the Friends of the Elephant Seals volunteer organization, a long stretch of boardwalk has been constructed just above the Piedras Blancas rookery for public viewing. No one is allowed onto the beaches near the seals. Ample parking is available and the boardwalk is accessible from the parking lot. Viewing walkways at each end
of the parking lot are part of the
California Coastal Trail and are wheelchair accessible. Dogs must be on a leash.
The best rookery viewing areas are located 90 miles south of Mon- terey, five miles north of Hearst
castle. The Piedras Blancas rookery spreads over six miles of beach from Point Piedras Blancas. View- ing areas are open every day. There are no fees or reservations required. No public transportation is avail-
able.There are no restrooms at the viewing area so plan accordingly.
From near-extinction to colonies
These huge sea mammals were making a remarkable recovery from near extinction having been hunted for their blubber and oil during the 18th and 19th centuries. At the end of that period only 50 animals were left. From that small group came all the northern elephant seals on the Pacific Coast. Now there are breed- ing colonies from Baja to British Columbia and at four California sites.
Today, the Marine Mammal Center estimates the northern elephant seal population to be ap- proximately 150,000 with 124,000 of that in California waters. The
 Wood Fired
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with a Pizza, Salad and Beverage
Join us nightly from 5-7:30 PM in our outdoor pizza nook!
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805-927-4200 | 2905 Burton Dr., Cambria, CA 93428
    Holistic Pet Food
Grooming Supplies
Treats & Toys
614 Main St B, Cambria • (805) 924-1139 1121 Rossi Rd, Templeton • (805) 591-7002
     784 Main Street in the West Village of Cambria
800.545.5079 • 805-927-8200
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