The peak season for elephant seals is December to March, which can bring winter storms and windy conditions. Weather conditions at Piedras Blancas are usually moderate, but weather can change quickly. Flat shoes, a jacket and sunscreen are recommended.
California Highway 1 is closed south of Big Sur and north of the rookery. It is likely to remain so until late 2017 or early 2019 as a major bridge must be replaced. It is a good idea to check California Highway 1 road conditions before planning your itinerary. In the meantime, travelers from the San Francisco Bay area should come south on US 101 then travel west on CA 46 to CA 1. The rookery is 16 miles north on 1.
Viewing areas are open every day. There are no fees or reservations required. No public transportation is available. Click here for directions to the viewing areas. For teachers and school programs, Click here. There are no restrooms at the viewing area so plan accordingly
Please note: use of drones or model aircraft is illegal in the rookery area.
Friends of the Elephant Seal offers a series of Exploratorys - presentations and guided tours of the rookery - every year. Click HERE for the 2017 program.