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Point Piedras Blancas
North of San Simeon, California

Point Piedras Blancas is the scenic location of a lighthouse - which unfortunately has had its top tier and light removed (to Cambria). It is open for tours and the surrounding land is in process of transfer to state parks.

But the most notable thing at Piedras Blancas is the elephant seal rookery. These huge marine mammals narrowly avoided extinction in the nineteenth century and began breeding at Ano Nuevo in San Mateo County in 1970. They colonized a beach here at Piedras Blancas in 1990 and have since multiplied tremendously, to more than 15,000.

The elephant seals can be viewed (and smelled) from boardwalks along the low cliffs as they lie on the narrow beaches. In winter the females give birth and later there are are epic battles between bulls. Through the summer they haul out on the beaches to moult.

Friends of the Elephant Seal
Wikipedia: Piedras Blancas Light Station

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Grazing land on the vast Hearst Ranch, Hearst Castle in distance

Grazing land on the vast Hearst Ranch, Hearst Castle in distance

Grazing land on the vast Hearst Ranch, Hearst Castle in distance

near San Simeon State Park, California

Date photographed: January 9, 2006
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Elephant seals north of the main viewing area

Elephant seals north of the main viewing area

The elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas began in 1990 and has been spreading up and down the coast to additional coves.

San Simeon State Park, California

Date photographed: April 5, 2012
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Elephant seals in a cove near Piedras Blancas

Elephant seals in a cove near Piedras Blancas

At various times during the year elephant seals can be seen swimming to and from the beaches at San Carpoforo.

San Simeon State Park, California

Date photographed: April 5, 2012
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Elephant seals giving birth on the beach south of Point Piedras Blacas

Elephant seals giving birth on the beach south of Point Piedras Blacas

Elephant seals giving birth on the beach south of Point Piedras Blacas

near San Simeon State Park, California

Date photographed: January 9, 2006
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Elephant seal viewing area in early March

Elephant seal viewing area in early March

Elephant seals pupping at San Caropoforo, part of the Piedras Blancas rookery.

Hearst San Simeon State Park, Cambria, California

Date photographed: March 9, 2012
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Elephant seals moulting at San Carpoforo

Elephant seals moulting at San Carpoforo

Elephant seals first appeared on shore here in 1990, and by 2015 had increased to 15,000 spread long a mile of sandy coves.

Hearst San Simeon State Park, California

Date photographed: April 21, 2016

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