SAN SIMEON, Calif. - Starting this Friday, Hearst San Simeon State Park will host their brand new guided northern elephant seal tours.
The tours will be led by knowledgeable State Park Interpreters and are meant to be educational and fun. The tour guides will teach you about the lifecycle of the elephant seal as you look out over seal bulls, cows and pups.
The tour begins Jan. 3 and will run every weekend through the end of March. California State Parks staff will be onsite to welcome tour attendees at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
Tours will meet on the coastline of Hearst San Simeon State Park about 2.25 miles north of the Hearst Castle Entrance on the oceanside of Highway 1.
The elephant seal tour will be about 45 minutes long and will traverse about half a mile of trail. The walk is considered easy with varied terrain.
Tickets for the tours are priced at $13 per person. Onsite parking will be free. For safety reasons, this elephant seal viewing access will only be allowed when visitors are with a tour guide.
If you would like to ring in the new year by learning about elephant seals, tickets for the tour can be purchased at the meeting location mentioned above or at the Hearst Castle Visitor Services Office at 750 Hearst Castle Road in San Simeon.
More elephant seals can be seen at the Piedras Blancas Northern Elephant Seal Rookery Viewing Area which is located 4.5 miles north of Hearst Castle on Highway 1. This location is open daily, free to all visitors and includes ADA access to the viewing boardwalks.