Año Nuevo State Reserve is the site of the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal, and the interpretive program has grown steadily over the years. Reservations are required for guided trips to see the seals during the breeding season, December 15 through March 31. Reservations open on October 20th for individuals and on the first Saturday of October for School Group Walks. Call (650) 879-2025 for more information.
The Boardwalk Trail or Equal Access Trail is a 0.27-mile boardwalk over dunes and coastal scrub along the beach that allows users to see the Northern Elephant seals. See Equal Access Program below to arrange transportation to the trail.
Beach wheelchairs are available. Call (650) 879-2025 for more information.
Service Animals: Service animals are welcome at Año Nuevo State Park however, within the Natural Preserve, where elephant seal viewing occurs, the presence of service animals can disrupt the natural behavior of wildlife. This is particularly important during the breeding season, December 15th through March 31st, when the seals are most active. Therefore, during the breeding season visitors with service animals who wish to see the seals are only permitted on the Equal Access Program tours. At other times, service animals may be restricted from full access as necessary to ensure the well-being of the native species. If you intend to bring your service animal to Año Nuevo, please call (650) 879-2025 ahead of time to get updates on where you may go with your service animal.
Equal Access Program: Persons with a mobility disability may tour the breeding area on Saturdays and Sundays during the breeding season. A wheelchair accessible van transports visitors to the staging area where an accessible boardwalk leads to the point. There is some space for persons accompanying wheelchair users on the Equal Access Tour. Reservations are required and may be made from November 15th until tours are full. The number for reservations or information for this service is (650) 879-2033.
Parking: Designated accessible spaces are available in the main lot.
Restrooms: The restrooms near the Visitor Center are generally accessible.
Visitor Center: A historic barn houses a video area, exhibit area and store. The barn is generally accessible with occasional short sloped areas of historic flooring. Assistance may be needed with the side ramp or entry. Exhibits are mostly accessibly designed. The video areas has some folding chairs that can be re-arranged to allow wheelchair access. Video transcript available and open captions for the introductory video are coming.
Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available.
Restrooms: Nearby restrooms are generally accessible.
Route of Travel: The route from the parking lot’s accessible spaces to the side entry of the Visitor Center is the most usable, but visitors may require assistance with rolled gravel that occasionally works loose from surface.