3.5
10 votes

Ano Nuevo State Reserve

New Years Creek Road, Santa Cruz, California 94060 USA

Free
Free to Visit
Open Now
Sun 9a-8p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible

“Outdoors & Recreation in Santa Cruz, CA”

Año Nuevo State Park is one of the largest mainland breeding colonies in the world for the northern elephant seal. A Natural Preserve has been established to protect the elephant seals along with many other animals such as otters, California sea lions, coyotes, cormorants, terns and more. Native plants and an untouched intertidal ecosystem also find shelter inside the Natural Preserve.  Elephant seals can be observed here year round either on a docent lead tour or through a self guided permit system. Elephant Seat Guided Walks - December 15 to March 31  During the breeding season daily access to the Natural Preserve is available only via guided walks. Visitors who hope to see the elephant seals during this season are urged to get their reservations early through Reserve America. This is the time when male elephant seals battle on the beaches for the right to mate and the females give birth to their pups on the dunes. Most of the adult seals are gone by early March, leaving behind the weaned pups who remain through April.  

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Reviewed by
Jason Speck

  • 29 Reviews
  • 47 Helpful
October 01, 2014
Rated 5.0

I visited this park when I was young. I don’t remember much about that single visit other than a brawl between two bull elephant seals. It was loud and bloody and frightening and amazing and it broke my young head that I could see something so wild so close to the house I lived and slept in.

I look forward to visiting again in the near future.

2 people found this review helpful

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Ano Nuevo State Reserve

New Years Creek Road
Santa Cruz, California
94060 USA

Hours

Open now until 8:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

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  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Private Parking
  • Free Parking
  • Yes Parking

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