Ano Nuevo State Park has a lot of trails and places to see. Though mainly it’s famous with the Elephant seals that return every winter to breed here. Each December the central part of the park – Ano Nuevo State Reserve – becomes available only with the guided tours.
But the Cove Beach – the southern coastal part of the park remains open to the general public. You even can park outside the park, walk a short trail to get to the beach.
The beach is small, with pebble parts. But it has two things that make it unique. And the first is a small number of seals that come here to sleep on the warm sand. The huge animals pay no attention to the human visitors, but I suggest to stay far from them.
The second sight you should see is a natural arch on the far end of the beach. You will not see it from a distance. The arc becomes visible only when you walk to the very end of the beach to the bluff wall.
It’s a beautiful place to wait for sunset and check how sun passes the arch creating the nice light path.
Even when the sun sets seals to remain on the beach. The traces of their body on the sand shows how they moved to or from the water. Sometimes they open their eyes to check who is passing or make the sounds (oh one seal scared me!).
Other Ano Nuevo hikes:
Trail to Franklin Point