The Ultimate Guide to Elephant Seals in Point Reyes

Vacations are the best time to relax and recharge your batteries, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. On the outskirts of Point Reyes National Seashore, Olema House offers a tranquil escape while keeping you close to top area activities and attractions. Soak in the sunshine exploring a nearby state park or riding along a local bike trail. No matter where your adventures take you, keep your eyes open for the wildlife that calls Point Reyes home, including elephant seals.

When Can You Spot Elephant Seals?

No matter the time of year, you always have a chance of spotting these animals at Point Reyes. However, their numbers increase between December through March as this is birthing and mating season. Numbers again go up in the spring when juveniles and adult females leave the water to molt. Males are usually the first to arrive in December to stake their claim on the beach. 

Where to Look for These Animals

If you are hoping to catch a glimpse of these creatures, one of the best spots to head is Elephant Seal Overlook, only about a 30-minute drive from our Point Reyes hotel. From this Inverness spot, you can view the southwest Drakes Beach colony, which can reach over 600 elephant seals by early February. Other popular viewing spots are the parking lot, beach, and pathways at Drakes Beach.

No matter where you end up going, there are important safety tips to keep in mind, including

  • Use binoculars, spotting scopes, or telephoto lenses to observe the animals from a distance.
  • Be sure to stay at least eight feet away from the seals.
  • Do not touch or swim with wild marine animals.
  • Keep viewing time to less than 30 minutes.
  • Avoid loud noises and move away cautiously if animals display behaviors indicating stress.

Enjoy a Nature-Filled California Getaway

Whether heading out to witness an elephant seal colony or going on a birdwatching excursion, there is no shortage of wildlife to discover during your Point Reyes vacation. Surrounded by coastal wilderness and national forest parkland, there’s no better for outdoor lovers to call home than Olema House.

Our idyllic Point Reyes retreat offers several accommodation options, including cozy guestrooms and spacious cottages. No matter which space you reserve, you’ll have a peaceful place to call home. Make your stay even more memorable by reserving your spot on one of our curated experiences. To learn more about reserving your stay or special offers, call 415-663-9000.