Just by pure chance, I happened to be in Cambria for a weekend in late January and I hit the jackpot for prime viewing of the Elephant Seal birthing and breeding season! Just up the coast on scenic Highway 1 from Cambria and San Simeon, past Hearst Castle, you will see a sign for Elephant Seal Viewing Vista. There are several places you can pull off, but one major viewing area with a large parking lot. Ohhh….so spectacular!! The 70+ pound babies had just been born, and they were all crying out to their Mamas, trying to bond (they only get 4 weeks together before they are on their own!) Note: prime viewing time is end of January through beginning of March. Mamas were giving themselves and their newborns sand baths,
while the GINORMOUS Males were establishing dominance, even watched a few brutal battles in action!! Have you ever HEARD the sound male Elephant Seals make??? It is the most deep guttural noise ever. Scary!! I was hoping they wouldn’t hear Elliott barking at them or they might come after him!
I seriously felt like I was in a National Geographic documentary filmed at the San Simeon rookery. There were a lot of people there watching, and a volunteer from Friends of the Elephant Seal, a local organization that works to educate and protect these precious animals. I could have stayed and watched for hours.
They are just fascinating creatures to observe and learn about their life cycle. I’ve been to this area before, but have never visited this time of the year. What a treat it was! Additionally, you can hike along the dunes a bit, and take countless photos of the sensational ocean and surf views and even the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse up the rugged coast a bit in the distance. A totally incredible and free winter outing while on the Central Coast! Loved it!!