We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ano Nuevo State Reserve

Certificate of Excellence
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: New Years Creek Road, Pescadero, CA
Phone Number: +1 650-879-2025
Website
Today
08:00 - 18:00
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 08:00 - 18:00
Description:

Home to the largest mainland seal colony in the world.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 192 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 119
    Excellent
  • 40
    Very good
  • 9
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Long Hike, But Lots of Elephant Seals

The walk took about 45 minutes each way, with some on sand, including a decent hill, so it was a long hike. A reviewer stated you're walking through marshes and standing water... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
evie d
Add Photo Write a Review

192 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Showing 171: English reviews
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

The walk took about 45 minutes each way, with some on sand, including a decent hill, so it was a long hike. A reviewer stated you're walking through marshes and standing water -completely false. Someone else said you're not close. There were at least 10 seals within 25 feet of where I was standing. There is a dirt path as... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank evie d
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
462 reviews
168 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

From the Coastal Highway it is very close to the State Park gate, and not much further to the parking lot. But be prepared for about a 2 mile walk to reach the first point of elephant seal observation. The trail is well marked, flat and easy, albeit very sandy for one stretch. We only had time to go to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Reslysten54
Dartford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016

Visited in early October. it was great talking to the rangers.all very knowledgeable. We saw many juveniles on the beach, sparring and chilling. A bit of a walk but definitely worth it.

Helpful?
Thank Stell_60
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
51 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2016

I enjoyed the view from this location of the fishing boats just off the coast at sunset. It is unbelievable how calm and peaceful the ocean is this far south. Stopped in the little village of Pescadero for a snack. Several little shops offer everything from micro brews to pastries. Love the bohemian feel. This is by far one of... More 

Helpful?
Thank ibkphoto
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
135 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2016

I went here around 5 PM in September. You take the walkway all the way to the beach. I was all by myself on the most gorgeous beach. There were hundreds of seagulls and pelicans. The beach was large and offered vistas of rolling waves, cliff formations and the inland mountains. Absolutely a must if you are near this place.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Globewalker13
West Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016

We stopped here on our way down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco. We first stopped at Ano Nuevo State Beach thinking this was the location but it was not. We continued on and found the Reserve. It costs $10 to get in and get a permit to see the Seals. The last time you can obtain a permit... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Amymariee89
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
369 reviews
133 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016

We had reservations to see the pups early on. A docent met us at the museum at the appointed time. We hiked a mile out to another structure above the dunes. Tours are regulated and only so many are allowed at one time on the beach. After a short wait, we were allowed to walk further. It was about another... More 

Helpful?
Thank JeriLG
Woodinville, Washington
Level Contributor
327 reviews
97 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2016

Ano Nuevo is Spanish for "new year". I'm not sure about the origin of the name, but it sure is a pretty place to stop and look at the ocean. There's a nice place to eat across the highway. Worth a visit.

Helpful?
Thank Brin651
Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2016

Nice walk to see the elephant seals. Right now they have a temporary detour off the main trail (to the seals) to a more rutted and sandy trail. Better time to go would be spring when there are pups.

Helpful?
Thank rum r
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2016

We loved visiting the Elephant Seals! Even though we couldn't get as closed to them as we'd liked, we still marveled at their size and sounds!

Helpful?
Thank Carla M

Travellers who viewed Ano Nuevo State Reserve also viewed

 

Been to Ano Nuevo State Reserve? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Ano Nuevo State Reserve and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Bay Area, California
over a year ago

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Ano Nuevo State Reserve staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?