Piedras Blancas Rookery: Let the Elephant Seal Games Begin

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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,

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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!

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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.

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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!!

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