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Elephant Seal Watching in Los Angeles 2024-2025

It is impossible to miss this beach: you can watch endlessly funny Elephant Seals

Best time: December–May

Elephant Seal Watching
Elephant Seal Watching
Elephant Seal Watching
Elephant Seal Watching
Elephant Seal Watching
Elephant Seal Watching

The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery is a rookery of Elephant Seals on Highway 1 in California. This beach is a few hours from Los Angeles. These huge marine animals lie directly on the beach, which is fenced off from visitors. There is an observation deck along the shore and there is even a small tree-paved trail. Elephant Seals sleep, snore, fight, hug, scream, and flop into the ocean and do many more interesting things. They are particularly funny to watch while throwing themselves into the sand.

Generally, Elephant Seal watching season is December through May. Adult animals are particularly numerous from December to March. In January, there is a huge number of young animals, followed closely by happy mothers. The peak season is still the middle of May. Along with Elephant Seals, you may also spot Fur Seals and Sea Lions.

Practical info

When is the ideal time to visit Los Angeles to watch elephant seals?

To spot adult and young elephant seals, fur seals, and sea lions, December to May is the ideal time to go elephant seal watching in Los Angeles. January is perfect for spotting several young animals, while mid-May is the peak season. Before visiting, it's wise to check the weather forecast and visit on sunny days. Elevated and secure observation points offer excellent views of these wonderful creatures. Show more

What is the location of the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery?

Located on Highway 1 in California, a few hours from Los Angeles, Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery can be spotted. Although visitors can't enter the fenced-off area, an observation deck offers an excellent view of elephant seals lounging on the beach. Managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, visitors can enjoy the majestic sight of elephant seals in their natural habitat. Show more

Aside from Elephant Seals, what other marine animals are visible at the rookery?

Visitors to the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal rookery can also observe Fur Seals and Sea Lions, in addition to elephant seals. These marine creatures are awe-inspiring to watch and provide visitors with opportunities to admire the wonders of nature. As a precaution, visitors are kindly asked to keep a safe distance, remain silent and avoid disturbing the animals. Show more

When is the busiest season for Elephant Seal watching in Los Angeles?

The busiest season for elephant seal watching in Los Angeles is in mid-May. This is when the elephant seals' number is high and visitors can watch them participating in various activities from snoring to jostling for the perfect spot. While the number of adult animals is high from December to March, January provides an excellent opportunity to observe several young elephant seals. Show more

Is there a guided tour offered to visit the elephant seals at the rookery?

Yes, the Friends of the Elephant Seal offer guided tours and visitors to the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery can enjoy them. Lasting around an hour, trained volunteer guides will provide information about elephant seals' natural history, migration models, and ocean ecology. They ensure visitors maintain a safe distance from the animals, and they're available all year round. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a self-guided tour and savor the magnificent scenery alone. Show more

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