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Guided Elephant Seal Walks
January 1 @ 8:45 am - 2:45 pm
Journey to view a large colony of Northern elephant seals, guided by your docent naturalist on this moderate 3-mile, 2.5 hour adventure. In the month of December, male elephant seal, or bulls, arrive and establish hierarchy, while pregnant females come ashore a place themselves close to a high ranking bull to give birth to their pups. They take place rain or shine, so be prepared for windy, rainy conditions as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear are strongly advised. Umbrellas and strollers are not permitted. Pets are not allowed in the park. The park is located west of Highway 1, between the cities of Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay, approximately a 1 ½ hour drive south from San Francisco. Day-use parking is $10 per car.
Reservations recommended: Call ReserveCalifornia 1-800-444-4445 or go online.
If you require mobility assistance, you can request a docent-led equal access tour. You will board our accessible van and ride to our wheelchair-accessible boardwalk. A docent(s) will accompany you to the two seal-viewing decks, and interpret the natural and cultural history of the park. Reservations are required. Please, allow a 2-week advance notice. Day-use parking is $10 and supports the park.
Purchase tour tickets online; cost is $7 plus a $4 registration fee. When guided walks are sold out online, the park releases additional day-of tickets on a first-come first-serve basis at the park. Cost is $7. Although there is no guarantee tickets will be available, the park typically releases 60-120 tickets per day and sales of these tickets directly benefits Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. Tip: arrive at the park before noon on weekends and holidays, and before 2 p.m. on weekdays for a chance to purchase these tickets and save the $4 per ticket. Call 650-879-2025 to confirm availability.