Año Nuevo State Park

Año Nuevo State Park is one of California’s most valuable preserved areas as the park is designed to protect the raw coastline and a variety of plant and animal life. Located south of San Francisco in San Mateo County, Año Nuevo State Park offers a variety of attractions and activities for all people. Año Nuevo State Park offers fishing, hiking and nature trails for the experienced outdoorsman (outdoorswoman), in addition to educational opportunities, exhibits, and guided tours for all ages; an opportunity to learn about the unique habitats that are being preserved in this part of California. Año Nuevo offers a state of the art visitor center, available for any questions related to the parks activities and reservations for any of the structured or guided experiences.
The primary attraction at Año Nuevo State Park is the protective habitat for the various see animals, including the elephant seal. Año Nuevo is the largest mainland preserve for elephant seal breading. Park hours and activities vary based on the time of year and location in the breeding / mating cycle.

Viewing Dates and Times
8 a.m. to Sunset

December 1 – 14
Elephant seal area closed to public.

December 15 – March 31
Guided Tours Only (Walking)

April – August
8:30a – 3:30p
Visitor Permits Only. All visitors must leave the elephant seal observation areas by 4p.

September – November
8:30a – 3p
Visitor Permits Only. All visitors must leave the elephant seal observation areas by 4p.

Año Nuevo State Park is situated on State Highway 1 approximately one and a half hours south of San Francisco—between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. The busiest times of the year are during the elephant seal breeding season (December to March). During this time the males will battle for mates and breed. After March the male elephant seals are gone and the new born seals are left behind. Because of the high traffic for these attractions and opportunities, it is suggested that visitors make reservations as soon as possible.

Reservation Call Center Hours: 1-800-444-4445
October 1 – February 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a to 3p weekends

March 1 – September 30, 8a to 6p

December 18 – December 31, 8a to 5p

General Information Telephone (Recorded Message)

Año Nuevo State Park Office
8:30a – 4:30p

Año Nuevo makes every effort to be accessible to all people who desire to experience this piece of California. For people who use assistance devices for ambulation, specific trails have been designed to accommodate, including the Equal Access Trail. Additionally, the park is able to provide beach wheelchairs. Pets are not allowed in the park. Additionally, there is no smoking allowed in the guided walk areas or in the State Park buildings. There are no fires allowed in the park. Año Nuevo makes every effort to assure that visitors can experience the natural aspects of the protected land and offers the opportunity to purchase products related to the elephant seals and the park as a whole, but visitors are prohibited from disturbing the animals, taking the animals, or taking any other natural aspect of the park with them as a souvenir.