Page 52 - SLO Visitors Guide - Winter 2021-2022
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Cambria, San Simeon, North Coast
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        52 WINTER 2021-22
Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas
as early as 1990. The only other mainland colonies of elephant seals at the time were at Ano Nuevo and Point Reyes and a small inaccessible colony at Gordo.
Best viewing areas
The Piedras Blancas rookery has the largest mainland elephant seal breeding colony and the easi- est access of California’s viewing sites. The rookery covers 6 miles of shoreline. Viewing areas are located 5 miles north of Hearst Castle and 1.5 miles south of Point Piedras Blancas.
The viewing areas are open ev- ery day of the year, are wheelchair accessible, and free. No reservations required. No dogs. Docents from Friends of the Elephant Seal are on
site between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Federal law protects elephant
seals. No one is allowed on the beach near the seals. Use of drones or model aircraft is illegal in the rookery area.
If you happen upon elephant seals while strolling along a beach, keep a respectful distance from these seemingly sleepy, sunbath- ing animals. They can move faster than expected in spite of their size. Cows will defend their pups,
and who wants to be chased by a 5000-pound bull?
The Piedras Blancas visitor’s center is located at 250 San Simeon Avenue, San Simeon. For more in- formation about watching the seals, visit the Friends of the Elephant Seal website at
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