Wow, we filled up fast. I event closed the waiting list because it got so long.
This hike has been quite popular, so I have reserved two blocks of twenty tickets: 20 for the 12:45 tour and 20 at 1:00. Be sure to show up 15 minutes before your hike is scheduled (that is the time I have listed the hike as starting).
The second group I am designating as "kid friendly" version, so if you are bringing a kid(s) try to sign up for that one; this should help the docent for that hike to target answers to kids (although if the hike you wish to join fills up, feel free to sign up for the other hike).
This hike you are seeing now is not the kid friendly hike (click here for the kid friendly one).
We'll be in separate groups, and the State Park docents seem to enjoy our groups, we tend to have lots of good questions and we don't mind if we go a bit slower to look longer (although they can't run too far behind, since there is a group leaving every 15 minutes).
Park website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523
Mother seals should be ashore, and we will likely see some pups (see description below).
Ano Nuevo is on the coast, about halfway between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.
I booked and paid for all 20 tickets for the both tours, so it will be just our group. Cost of hike includes tour ticket.
For this hike, you must pay in order to RSVP. I'll have the tickets, so you don't need to go online and reserve them. Since I paid in advance, there are no refunds if you don't make it. If we get a waiting list and you can't make it, ask the next person on the list if you want to arrange to get a refund from them. Please don't RSVP unless you know you are going to make it.
Here is a Google map showing the exit from Highway 1, and our meeting location.
If you want to join others for lunch, show up around 11:45/12:00 and we can have a picnic before the hikes (depending on the weather). Meet in the picnic area in front of the main office/barn.
After the hike, those who desire can walk down to the great beach between the "docent only" section and the parking lot.
If you want to go, feel free to join the waiting list, but there are only 20 tickets so you will only be able to go if someone backs out. If you signed up and need to back out, please click on someone on the waiting list and see if they are willing to buy your tickets (you can use Paypal or some other means to get money to each other).
- Exit from Highway 1: 37.12471, -122.30831
- Parking lot: 37.119821, -122.307214
Description from the Ano Nuevo website:
Walks last about 2.5 hours, and consist of a moderately strenuous 3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain [Lee: I wouldn't call it 'strenuous,' but they are probably trying to over-rate it so folks don't say "but you said it was easy."]
Be prepared for windy, rainy conditions, as well as muddy trails. Layered clothing, sturdy shoes, and hooded rain gear are recommended. Bring bottled water for drinking as there is none available during the walk.
Children 3 and under are free, and do not need a ticket.
Breeding Season: December 15 – March 31
Northern elephant seals come ashore to give birth and mate from early December through March. Bull seals engage in battles for breeding access to the females from early December through January. Pregnant females come ashore to pup from late December to early February, and mothers nurse their pups for about a month before mating and returning to the sea. By early March, most of the adults have returned to the sea. Pups remain behind through March basking in the sun and learning to swim.
The reserve offers naturalist-guided walks between December 15 and March 31, which feature the seals in their natural habitat. To view the seals during this season, you must be on a guided walk. These popular three-mile walks over rolling sand dunes last about two and a half hours and are considered moderately strenuous. They operate daily from early morning. See Related Links for: Public Seal Walks and School Group Walks.