The northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, is an extraordinary marine mammal. It spends eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1000 to 5800 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours, and migrating thousands of miles, twice a year, to its land-based rookery for birthing, breeding, molting, and rest. Piedras Blancas is a great place to view these remarkable creatures during their time onshore.
Elephant Seals have been inhabiting the coast of Highway 1 for years, and they continue to be a famous stop while visitors are in the Cambria area. Friends of the Elephant Seal even have a live cam you can watch to see the beasts lumbering out on the sand (and they usually are).
The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery spreads over 6 miles of shoreline around Point Piedras Blancas on the central coast of California. The viewing areas are located 90 miles south of Monterey, 5 miles north of Hearst Castle State Historical Monument in San Simeon, 1.5 miles south of Point Piedras Blancas. The viewing areas are open every day of the year, are wheelchair accessible, and free. No reservations required.