Piedras Blancas and the Friends of the Elephant Seal
On a recent road trip from Los Angeles to Monterey, my family and I stumbled upon a unique site. Hundreds of elephant seals were relaxing, nearly motionless, on a central California beach – Point Piedras Blancas. We pulled over to get a closer look at these fascinating creatures.
Point Piedras Blancas, located 4.5 miles North of Hearst Castle, is home to approximately 16,000 elephant seals. Year round, visitors can stop by to view these animals in their natural habitat and helpful docents are on hand to educate the young and old alike. Walkways and fencing has been built to give onlookers great vantage points while not disturbing the natural activities of these magnificent animals.
In the short time we had to observe the elephant seal colony, we watched the purposeful interactions between the bulls, the playful antics of the pups and many, many sleepy seals lying in the sun. The seals were unfazed by the crowds of people who stopped by to get a glimpse.
The Friends of the Elephant Seal is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about elephant seals and other marine life and to teaching stewardship for the ocean off this special place, the central coast of California. The colony at Piedras Blancas was formed in 1990 with only a few seals and continues to thrive, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and donations.