Oregon or Bust : Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery – May 29, 2015

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Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery – May 29, 2015

San Simeon, California

February 19, 2021

I took a solo road trip from Los Angeles, California to Portland Oregon in 2015.  I’ve been too lazy to write up anything on that trip, but the current pandemic has made me remember past travels so I’m writing up some posts about past travel.   I was on a tight budget so I camped at free campsites along my route, which provide little if any amenities, but you are also camping in much more quiet and nature than you would experience at developed campsites.

My plan was to travel up the coast on Highway 1 once I got north of Los Angeles.  My first stop was at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery in San Simeon, California.  There is a small parking area near the rookery, but I visited on a Friday morning so it wasn’t crowded.  I spent about 30 minutes just watching the seals. 

There are several informational signs around the rookery, and there are these little rails showing one of the fences demonstrating the average size of the elephant seals.  There were a few volunteers from “Friends of the Elephant Seal” at the rookery while I was there to answer questions and sell a few souvenirs.

Most of the seals were sleeping on the beach.  These two seals were sleeping then woke up made a noise to each other, then lied back down with one seal resting its head on top of the other seal.   I enjoyed watching the seals playing in the water, too. 

The rookery is close to Hearst Castle and a worthwhile stop if the seals are there.  The number of seals peaks three times a year, and I advise checking the elephantseal.org website to find out more or to watch the live beach cam.

Cost: Free 

Duration: 15-45 minutes