Año Nuevo State Refuge

Pescadero, California
Managed by The Swim Guide

Photo by sonofabike (Flickr)

The beach of Año Nuevo State Park can be accessed from New Years Creek Road off of Highway 1 in Pescadero, San Mateo County. The park protects the scenic, biological, and ecological values of this central California coastline, including Año Nuevo Island and the inland areas from Año Nuevo Point, a windswept point named by the Spanish maritime explorer Sebastian Vizcaino. Today, this point remains undeveloped and wild; it is the site of the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal. Elephant seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals come ashore to rest, mate, and give birth in the sand dunes or on the beaches and offshore islands. It is a unique and unforgettable natural spectacle that hundreds of thousands of people come to witness each year. It protects the pinniped rookeries, a prime resource, and significant wildlife habitats on Año Nuevo Island and the mainland. It also boasts native dunes and coastal terrace prairie habitats, and a diversity of inland plant communities including old growth forest, freshwater marsh, and knobcone pine forest. You can find steelhead trout and coho salmon in the streams, and its wetlands are habitat to the rare San Francisco garter snake and red-legged frog.

From December to March (the breeding season), daily access to the park is available via guided walks only. Advanced reservations are recommended for the walks. The elephant seals return to Año Nuevo's beaches during the spring and summer months to molt and can be observed during this time through a permit system. There is a Visitor Center that features natural history exhibits as well as restrooms, picnic tables, and drinking water. Food and beverages are not sold. Pets are not allowed in the park and cannot be left inside parked vehicles in the parking lot. No harassing or disturbing wild animals. Elephant seals are dangerous and you should never get within 25 feet of them. Collecting of shells, rocks, wood, plants or animals is prohibited. Fires of all types and smoking is not permitted in the park.

WATER QUALITY
  • No data available
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on December 30th, 2015. The Swim Guide updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   
MONITORING FREQUENCY

Año Nuevo State Refuge is not sampled

SOURCE INFORMATION

San Mateo County conducts weekly sampling at over 43 ocean and fresh water sites throughout the year. Samples are collected on Mondays and analyzed by the San Mateo County Public Health Laboratory for the levels of three indicator bacteria. Results are posted to their website within 48 hours. Swim Guide checks for the latest results daily.

The standards for indicator bacteria are as follows:
Single sample maximum
Total Coliform > 10,000 MPN (Most Probable Number) / 100 ml of water
Enterococcus > 104 MPN / 100 ml
E.coli > 400 MPN / 100 ml

Geometric Mean (5 samples collected over a 30 day period)
Total Coliform > 1,000 MPN / 100 ml of water
Enterococcus > 35 MPN / 100 ml
E.coli > 200 MPN / 100 ml

A beach is marked Green when bacteria levels for a single day and geometric mean are below the standards mentioned.

A beach is marked Red when bacteria levels for a single day or the geometric mean are above the standards mentioned.

A beach is marked Grey when there is no current or reliable monitoring information available.

Please contact Greg Smith of County Environmental Health by email GJSmith@smcgov.org or phone (650) 372-6200 if you are interested in becoming a volunteer to help collect water samples at your favorite beach.

If you think you’ve contracted an water related illness please send us a pollution report, see your doctor and contact County Environmental Health Services at (650) 372-6200 to make a report. They will need your name, the dates and areas you were swimming, symptoms and contact information for your or your health care provider.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH

Año Nuevo State Refuge

Pescadero, California
Managed by The Swim Guide

WATER QUALITY
  • No data available
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on December 30th, 2015. The Swim Guide updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on at
For water quality icon legend, click:   

Photo by sonofabike (Flickr)

The beach of Año Nuevo State Park can be accessed from New Years Creek Road off of Highway 1 in Pescadero, San Mateo County. The park protects the scenic, biological, and ecological values of this central California coastline, including Año Nuevo Island and the inland areas from Año Nuevo Point, a windswept point named by the Spanish maritime explorer Sebastian Vizcaino. Today, this point remains undeveloped and wild; it is the site of the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal. Elephant seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals come ashore to rest, mate, and give birth in the sand dunes or on the beaches and offshore islands. It is a unique and unforgettable natural spectacle that hundreds of thousands of people come to witness each year. It protects the pinniped rookeries, a prime resource, and significant wildlife habitats on Año Nuevo Island and the mainland. It also boasts native dunes and coastal terrace prairie habitats, and a diversity of inland plant communities including old growth forest, freshwater marsh, and knobcone pine forest. You can find steelhead trout and coho salmon in the streams, and its wetlands are habitat to the rare San Francisco garter snake and red-legged frog.

From December to March (the breeding season), daily access to the park is available via guided walks only. Advanced reservations are recommended for the walks. The elephant seals return to Año Nuevo's beaches during the spring and summer months to molt and can be observed during this time through a permit system. There is a Visitor Center that features natural history exhibits as well as restrooms, picnic tables, and drinking water. Food and beverages are not sold. Pets are not allowed in the park and cannot be left inside parked vehicles in the parking lot. No harassing or disturbing wild animals. Elephant seals are dangerous and you should never get within 25 feet of them. Collecting of shells, rocks, wood, plants or animals is prohibited. Fires of all types and smoking is not permitted in the park.

MONITORING FREQUENCY

Año Nuevo State Refuge is not sampled

SOURCE INFORMATION

San Mateo County conducts weekly sampling at over 43 ocean and fresh water sites throughout the year. Samples are collected on Mondays and analyzed by the San Mateo County Public Health Laboratory for the levels of three indicator bacteria. Results are posted to their website within 48 hours. Swim Guide checks for the latest results daily.

The standards for indicator bacteria are as follows:
Single sample maximum
Total Coliform > 10,000 MPN (Most Probable Number) / 100 ml of water
Enterococcus > 104 MPN / 100 ml
E.coli > 400 MPN / 100 ml

Geometric Mean (5 samples collected over a 30 day period)
Total Coliform > 1,000 MPN / 100 ml of water
Enterococcus > 35 MPN / 100 ml
E.coli > 200 MPN / 100 ml

A beach is marked Green when bacteria levels for a single day and geometric mean are below the standards mentioned.

A beach is marked Red when bacteria levels for a single day or the geometric mean are above the standards mentioned.

A beach is marked Grey when there is no current or reliable monitoring information available.

Please contact Greg Smith of County Environmental Health by email GJSmith@smcgov.org or phone (650) 372-6200 if you are interested in becoming a volunteer to help collect water samples at your favorite beach.

If you think you’ve contracted an water related illness please send us a pollution report, see your doctor and contact County Environmental Health Services at (650) 372-6200 to make a report. They will need your name, the dates and areas you were swimming, symptoms and contact information for your or your health care provider.

WATER QUALITY GRAPH



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