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Elephant Seal Rookery

Features Animals
Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA
+1 805-924-1628
Review Highlights
A regular grunt fest!

Early November features younger males who "haul out" to hang out. They practice some of the... read more

Reviewed 13 November 2017
Tim W
Claremont, California, United States
Amazing Mammals

The annual migration of these amazing mammals at the same beaches of San Simeon and at the same... read more

Reviewed 9 November 2017
Alameda, California
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  • Excellent78%
  • Very good18%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“hearst castle” (231 reviews)
“viewing area” (63 reviews)
Piedras Blancas, San Simeon, CA
+1 805-924-1628
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41 - 50 of 2,211 reviews

Reviewed 13 November 2017

Early November features younger males who "haul out" to hang out. They practice some of the dominance techniques that will be useful later for getting to mate. The grunting sounds of these big sea animals was fun to hear, reminding me of teenage human boys...More

Thank Tim W
Reviewed 9 November 2017

The annual migration of these amazing mammals at the same beaches of San Simeon and at the same period of the year is definitely a manifestation of nature's wonderful creation.

Thank alcor1922
Reviewed 9 November 2017 via mobile

Definitely worth a visit especially if you are at Hearst Castle. It is a free attraction and only 4 miles from Hearst Castle. There were hundreds of elephant seals across the beach when we were there. They are the cutest!!!

Thank Lynn C
Reviewed 8 November 2017

After the another must see the Hearst CAstle, somebody told us about this place very happy we stopped by.. hundreds of Elephants ...

Thank MarkGaby
Reviewed 7 November 2017 via mobile

We could spend hours watching the elephant seals, just fascinating. We also had the benefit of some local guides explaining rookery which was an extra bonus.

Thank ColinandJane
Reviewed 1 November 2017

On a recent trip to Hearst Caste, we followed Hwy 1 a few more miles and arrives at the Elephant Seal Rookery. It was early in the afternoon and the seals were all lounging on the beach. Not to much action going on at the...More

2  Thank K2Travels
Reviewed 30 October 2017

Everybody talked about Hearst Castle but we chose to go to see the seals and we were not disappointed. So amazing to see them in their natural habitat and interacting naturally. Great photo opportunities.

1  Thank TravellerDave60
Reviewed 25 October 2017

The rookery is just north of Hearst Castle and about 15 minutes from Cambria. Worth the drive. The first sight is a surprise. From a distance, they look like piles of sand stacked on the beach. With a camera, a zoom lens is best.

Thank angelino
Reviewed 23 October 2017

Don't miss this! We saw probably 150 of these amazing creatures, and watched for about an hour as they lay in the sun, occasionally having minor disputes with each other - or moving slowly into the sea! This is such a special place!

Thank SusannaW799
Reviewed 17 October 2017 via mobile

Stopped by here briefly to watch the seals. There were at least 100 on the beach sleeping and moving about. Plenty of vantage points to watch them. Went down about 1 hour before sunset and were a few people there but not too busy.

1  Thank nziv2
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Questions & Answers
Jee C
13 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from Travelin M | Reviewed this property |
There are seals all year round. It just depends on the season as to whether you’ll see more males, females or yearlings. Look up their website for what is there different times of years
Jessica H
11 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from alcor1922 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, you can definitely take awesome photos with those lenses. You may still see some fighting males in January.
6 December 2017|
AnswerShow all 9 answers
Response from Ralph B | Reviewed this property |
When you drive up Highway 1 you will see lots of signage as you approach the turn out to see the seals where there is ample parking and you are close enough to actually see the seals from your car but get out where you can... More