Trip To Año Nuevo State Park

Shiva Schulz Articles, Community, Travel — By on February 15, 2012 9:02 am

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, a group of 15 braved the rain, wind, fog and cold, and headed off to Año Nuevo State Park for a JCCSF day trip. We met at the JCCSF, climbed aboard our rented bus, watched waves crash to the shore on the way down and made a quick stop at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero.

At Año Nuevo, we set out on our 2-½-hour guided tour to see the elephant seals. Only people with tour tickets can hike out to see the seals. The seals are not afraid of or interested in humans, so we got up real close to them. The downside is that the seals had come close to extinction because it was so easy for humans to go after their blubber.

The seals migrate annually to Año Nuevo and give birth in January and February. We saw the females hanging out in the “harems,” either with newborn babies or waiting to give birth. Although we saw a lot of activity, we did not witness a birth. We saw one female who had four babies attached to her, which was unusual because they nurse only their own offspring.

We were transfixed watching the males – who have the pronounced noses, hence the name “elephant” seals – trumpeting, fighting with each other and attempting to have relations with the females. The females were not quite at the stage where those advances were welcome, so they had to really work hard to assert themselves.

We had lunch at the restaurant of an elegant old hotel in Half Moon Bay to cap off the day. See below for a slideshow of the day: [flagallery gid=8 name=”Gallery”]

For more information about upcoming day trips, contact Shiva Schulz, JCCSF Adult Programs Manager, at 415.292.1260 or

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