Family Adventure: Elephant Seal Guided Tour at The Año Nuevo Coast Natural Preserve
Feb 17 - South Bay

Join the MIT Alumni Family Adventure at Año Nuevo State Park!

Experience the rare and fascinating spectacle of elephant seals in their natural habitat at Año Nuevo State Park -- one of the few places that you can see elephant seals in the entire North America. For this special outing, we've secured the highly sought after tickets for the park's guided walks, which are included in your event registration.

Please arrive by 8:40. The tour starts at 9am sharp. As the guide tickets are in high demand, the tickets will be released if you don’t meet the guide by 9am.

Highlight of the Tour:

  • Guided by Experts: The walks are led by the park's own volunteer docent naturalists. These knowledgeable guides have undergone extensive training in the park's natural and cultural history, ensuring a rich and informative experience.
  • Many adult seals have come ashore by mid-December. Bulls often engage in battles for breeding access to females. Pregnant females come ashore to have pups, with births reaching a peak by late January. Mothers nurse their pups for a month before weaning their pups, mating, and heading back to sea. pups play in the dunes and learn to swim in the tidepools before heading out to sea.

Event Details:

  • Trail Length: A 3-4 mile moderate hike through diverse landscapes, including sandy dunes.
  • Duration: Each guided tour lasts approximately 2.5 hours, offering an in-depth exploration of the area.
  • Optional, after the guided walk, enjoy a leisurely lunch on the beautiful beach, taking in the scenic views and possibly spotting more elephant seals in their natural habitat. This is a great opportunity to relax with your family and mingle with fellow alumni. Remember, pack your lunch if you plan to stay for lunch.

What to bring?

  • Elephant seal walks are conducted rain or shine. Winter weather can be very cold and windy, even on sunny days. Rain is frequent and the trail may be muddy with small puddles.
  • Visitors should bring hooded rain gear, a warm jacket, layered clothing, and sturdy walking shoes. Bring water for drinking on the trail.
  • Cameras and photography are permitted. Although there are no restrictions on flashes, photographers are restricted to stay with the guided walk group and cannot leave. Staying 25 feet from the elephant seals is firmly enforced. 
  • Binoculars are helpful for seeing seals further out on the beaches and on the island.
  • Comfortable, durable walking shoes
  • Water and snacks
  • Lunch, if you plan to join us for us at the beach after the tour. Note that no food is allowed on the tour, but you may picnic in designated areas before or after the guided walk.

What not to bring

  • For safety reasons, umbrellas are not permitted on the walks. 
  • Baby strollers are also not permitted for safety reasons. Families may use them for the first .9 mile walk to the staging area but must then leave them there for the rest of the tour. 

Pets are not allowed in the park and cannot be left inside parked vehicles in the parking lot.


Event Disclaimer:
Because this event is in person, you acknowledge the below by coming to this event.

I acknowledge and understand that: (i) I am not required to participate in this event; (ii) my participation is voluntary and at my sole risk; and (iii) I am responsible for my own protection against Covid-19, including, without limitation, following all health and safety protocols communicated to me or posted at the event venue.

MIT Alums:

Please make sure you are a current member of our club before registering. If you are unsure please ask or if you would like to join MIT Club of Northern California, click here.

Event Closed

Date and Time

Saturday, February 17, 2024
8:40 AM - 11:30 AM PT

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Año Nuevo State Park
1 New Years Creek Road
Pescadero, CA, 94060

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