San Simeon has gained its reputation for being home to the flamboyant Hearst Castle, but not many people know that its beach is also home to a big elephant seal colony. Until 1990, only under two dozen elephant seals could be seen here, but then something very strange happened. The next spring, over 400 seals showed up on the beach just south of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Why did that happen? Nobody knows, but after that the population continued to grow every year.
Today, the rookery at Piedras Blancas has more than 17,000 elephant seals. “These marine mammals spend eight to ten months a year in the open ocean, diving 1,000 to 5,000 feet deep for periods of fifteen minutes to two hours. They migrate thousands of Continue Reading