Elephant seal mom and pup.
Photo: © Stephen Henry
Ranger with photographers.
Photo: © Avis Boutell
Elephant seals fight for breeding rights.
Photo: © Lee Aurich

Buy your tickets early!

A park ranger will lead the tour into and through the elephant seal rookery. Since this access is early in the morning and before the normal guided walks for the public begin, a van will be used to facilitate the tour and to reduce the amount of walking. Each tour is limited to 8 people.

This is a unique opportunity to photograph the elephant seals at sunrise, when the animals are most active. The sun will rise between 7:07 a.m. and 7:18 a.m. on these days.

The park ranger will escort photographers to optimal viewing locations for the elephant seals at Año Nuevo Point. Please note, however, that all viewing access is predicated on public safety and the protection of park resources within state and federal law.

In past years the tours have sold out in days, so please don't delay if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.

The tickets for this fundraiser are $250 per person.* California State Parks' usual entry fee of $10 per car will still apply and be collected at the park entrance. Also, as usual, day passes will be valid.

Sunrise Photography Tours will be held rain or shine. Logistical information will be sent to ticket holders a week or so before the event.

Mating happens before the pup is weaned
photo: © Lee Aurich
Newborn pup
photo: © Lee Aurich
Bull Elephant Seal at the shoreline
photo: © Lee Aurich

* Sunrise Photography Tours are fundraising events hosted by Coastside State Parks Association, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Cooperating Association founded in 1990. Money from tickets sold to the public will be used to support interpretive and educational programs at Año Nuevo and 14 other California State Parks on the San Mateo County coast.

The Fair Market Value for each tickets is $76.25