COVID 19 Update-November 21, 2020

The Friends of the Elephant Seal Visitor Center and Gift Shop in San Simeon is open for local order pick-up and phone requests from  10 AM-2 PM daily with some holiday exceptions.  You are welcome to shop online and arrange for local pick-up or convenient shipping.  Give us a call if you have a special request (805) 924-1628.  The staff will not be available on Wednesday, November 25; Thursday, November 26 or Friday, November 27.

TO VIEW THE SEALS:  All day-use parking lots are open in Hearst San Simeon State Park, including the Elephant Seal Viewing area, 7.2 miles to the north of the Visitor Center and Gift Shop.  Docents are not yet available to welcome visitors at the elephant seal viewing site and will return as soon as it is determined safe to do so.

Guidance for our Visitors:  We observe the state mask requirements and social distancing guidelines in all locations at the rookery and our Visitor Center and Gift Shop.  All existing viewing guidelines continue to apply – including no drones or wildlife disturbances. As always… pack in and pack out all trash. Stay on the boardwalks and viewing platforms. There are no restrooms, so plan accordingly.

Please take all protective measures to be safe at the Elephant Seal Viewing area. There are often large crowds at the viewing area and congestion in the parking area.

Are there any new visitor guidelines at California State Parks? 
Yes, please see below:

  • Stay Local: Although businesses around the state are opening up, Californians should not travel significant distances for pleasure or recreation and should stay close to home. Parking is very limited or closed at park units across the state. Walk or bike to parks in your local neighborhood. Do not travel if you are sick or if someone in your household has had coronavirus in the last two weeks.
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors will be asked to leave if there are too many people at the park, beach or on trails to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.
  • Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in the outdoors when you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not your immediate household members. For details, please read California Department of Public Health’s guidance for the use of face coverings here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
  • Disturbances: Should you witness any disturbances to elephant seals, drone use or other incidents that cause concern, please call the State Park Rangers at 805-927-2068.

Get the Latest News & Updates


Friends of the Elephant Seal is a 501(c) (3) non- profit corporation, relying on grants, sponsorships, memberships and your donations. Your charitable contribution supports our programs.

Sign Up for E-mail Updates

Be among the first to receive updates, photos, events and more about the Piedras Blancas northern elephant seal colony. The Friends of the Elephant Seal does not share your personal information with outside advertisers or other organizations.

Follow Us

Follow Friends of the Elephant Seal on our social channels for up-to-the-minute updates and images from the rookery.

Friends of the Elephant Seal is a cooperating association with California State Parks.

Translate »