by Alex Gugel , all rights reserved
Guided Walks at Año Nuevo State Park (SP) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.
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Directions and Parking Fees Cancellations and Exchanges Guided walks take place rain or shine. There are no ticket exchanges or refunds for cancellations, no-shows, or late arrivals. Refunds are issued only when the park cancels a walk. As much notice as possible will be given in the event of a cancellation. Año Nuevo State Park is located on State Route 1, approximately 20 miles north of Santa Cruz and 35 miles south of Half Moon Bay. Año Nuevo is about a 1.5 hour drive south of San Francisco. Allow extra time during rainy weather. Parking fees are collected from all vehicles, except grades 4 through 12 school groups with guided walk reservations. Auto Regular…………....$10.00 Auto Senior (age 62+)…..$9.00 Bus (10-24 passengers)...$50.00 Bus (25+ passengers)....$100.00 Facilities and Resources A Marine Education Center features natural history exhibits, an educational video, and a parkstore. Picnic tables, restrooms, and drinking fountains are on the premises. There is no food available for purchase inside the park. PLEASE REMEMBER You must be on a guided walk to view seals during this period. Make a reservation ahead of time. All natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed. No pets are permitted. No umbrellas or baby strollers. No smoking. Año Nuevo State Park 1 New Years Creek Rd. Pescadero, CA 94060 (650) 879-2025, 8:30am to 4:30pm Recorded Information: (650) 897-0227 www.parks.ca.gov/anonuevo ©2019 California State Parks Fees subject to change without notice. Visit the parks website for current fees or call the park to verify. Año Nuevo State Park Guided Seal Walks Año Nuevo State Park is home to a large colony of Northern Elephant Seals. Seal activities and population counts vary widely from December through March. The park offers docent led guided walks between December 15th and March 31st. These guided walks feature the elephant seals in their natural habitat. To view the seals during this period, you must be on a guided walk. Elephant seal viewing requires a 3-mile moderate hike over varied terrain, including sand dunes. They operate daily from early morning to midafternoon, rain or shine. What will I see? 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. By early March most adult seals have returned to the sea, leaving behind hundreds of weaned pups. Groups of pups play in the dunes and learn to swim in the tidepools before heading out to sea. What should I bring? Winter weather at Año Nuevo can be extreme and unpredictable. Be prepared for windy, rainy conditions, as well as muddy trails. A warm jacket, layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and rain gear are strongly advised. Bring bottled water for drinking on the trail. Umbrellas and baby strollers are not permitted for safety reasons. Cameras and binoculars are welcome. No food is allowed on the tour, but you may picnic in designated areas before or after. Pets are not allowed in the park and cannot be left inside parked vehicles in the parking lot. GUIDED WALKS ARE OFFERED FROM DECEMBER 15 THROUGH MARCH 31 Advance reservations are recommended for these guided walks, to ensure space will be available when you arrive. PUBLIC SEAL WALKS Public seal walks operate daily for individuals, families, or groups. Starting October 20th, tickets go on sale as early as 56 days in advance, and no later than one day before arrival. Price per ticket: $7.00 plus $3.99 per ticket for the reservation fee. Children age 4 and under are free and do not need a ticket. Children age 17 and under require one adult chaperone for each 10 children. Each walk has a capacity of 20 people, including chaperones. RESERVATIONS To reserve your guided public, school group, or equal access guided walk: CALL 1-800-444-4445 ReserveCalifornia Hours of Operation (PST) Daily 8am-6pm Reservations can also be made online at: www.reservecalifornia.com ReserveCalifornia is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Unreserved tickets for each day are sold at the park, first come first served, beginning at 8:30am. SCHOOL GROUP SEAL WALKS School group walk tickets are offered weekdays for grades 4th through 12th only. Tickets for all school group walks go on sale the first Saturday in October at 8am. Price per school group ticket: $21.00 Each ticket allows entry for up to 20 students plus two required adult chaperones, for a total group size of 22. School groups without the required number of adult chaperones will not be admitted on the school group walk. Each caller may purchase up to four school group tickets. EQUAL ACCESS GUIDED WALKS RESERVATIONS Seal walks are available on an accessible boardwalk for visitors needing mobility assistance. These tours take place on Fridays, weekends, and select holidays from mid-December through mid-March. The price is $7.00 +$3.99 reservation fee per person. Those that qualify for the program are allowed two guests. Reservations are required and can be made starting November 1st by calling ReserveCalifornia at 1-800-444-4445.