Mile 118 Report

July 31, 2015
by D Bone

Cape Arago, Simpson Reef, Shell Island, Sea Lion Viewpoint
Friday 3:30 PM
70° F
Moderate from the W
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Observing pinnipeds 45
Cars/Trucks parking:
ATVs/OHVs parking:
RVs/Buses parking:
RVs/Buses parking: 0
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
Activity Comments:
Human activities were "under control" and people were behaving as you would hope they would.
Notable Wildlife:
3 Northern elephant seals, hundreds of California sea lion recently returned from their breeding grounds, a small number of Steller sea lions, 1 Douglas squirrel. 1 Turkey vulture,1 Osprey, 1 hummingbird and a flock of Cedar waxwings.
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Kelp or Algae·Plastic pellets·Wood pieces
New Development:
Forrest had been thinned for about a 1/4 mile where it was really thick. Areas that had been thinned to promote bog lily growth a few years ago are now overgrown. The northern site has a "cage" that has some thing to do with the project. Trying to re
Natural Changes:
There were nowhere near the normal seeps or small streams along the trail.
I contacted the head naturalist about the bog lily restoration sites. She's on maternity leave and is not up to speed on the project. I'm currently on a cross country trip and will pursue the topic when I get back in October.The top of about 10 yards of fence were missing. Suspect vandalism.
Wildlife was a major feature of this trip, as usual. California sea lions are returning in numbers from their annual trip to their breeding grounds on the Channel Islands of Southern California. In response, Steller sea lions numbers dropped from earlier in the summer. There were 3 Northern elephant seals present for their annual catastrophic molt. A wide variety of bird life was observed from a vulture and osprey to hummingbirds and a flock of Cedar waxwings.The Bog lily restoration plots are are pretty much overgrown now. The northern plot has a "cage" that according to the park's head naturalist has some thing to do with the project. As she is on maternity leave she is not up to speed on it. I will pursue the topic when I return in October.About a 1/4 mile of forest on the top of the bluff has been thinned. The area had been very overgrown. This should help the fire situation. This year's lack of precipitation was very evident. There was nowhere near the normal number of seeps and small streams on this mile.Human activities were mainly 45 people observing wildlife at Simpson Reef and 2 people walking their dog.
Other Mile 118 Reports (19)


August 22, 2022 - GasiorowskiM
Shore Acres State Park is a lovely place, with beautiful vistas and hiking trails, hundreds of marine mammals visible at Simpson Reef Overlook, and a wonderful botanical garden.  Afternoon fog often...


July 14, 2016 - D Bone
Thirty-seven people were observing wildlife at Simpson Reef. Another 8 were hiking the trail. Shell Island and Simpson Reef had molting Northern elephant seals, good numbers of Stellar sea lions and...


July 29, 2012 - D Bone
I saw a total of 5 people. Two were hiking with 3 dogs. The other two were watching wildlife. In addition there were 10 sport fishing boats.According to Shoreline Education for Awareness wildlife...
June 10, 2012 - D Bone
Human Activities; 2 people walking their dogs and picking up trash, 2 people fishing, and 2 people watching wildlife. Shoreline: What little of this mile that is accessable beach is closed until the...


June 2, 2011 - D Bone
The little available beach on this mile is still closed for Harbor Seal birthing. I have seen 2 born this last week. A total of 15 female and juvenile Northern Elephant Seals are on the Shell...
March 25, 2011 - D Bone
Not much happening. Some erosion at the south end of the mile where there usually is during the winter. Few sea lions of any type. A lot of Harbor Seals including the first pups of the year(The...


December 31, 2010 - Pat&RobertaSmit
A lady sketching seals and sea lions from the Simpson's Reef Viewing Area pointed out an Elephant Seal with two pups. I did not realize it was pupping season for Elephant Seals. As we watched through...
September 28, 2010 - D Bone
About 2,000 marine mammals were on Shell Island. Over half were Steller sea lions,a few Harbor seals,and the rest were California sea lions. Saw 4 Black Oystercatchers,8 Harliquin Ducks(7 males,1...
June 26, 2010 - D Bone
Area is as expected this time of year. Migration of Ca Sea Lions doesn't seem to be in full swing because of the numbers that are still here. Stellar Sea Lions have moved into the area. Many...


June 9, 2009 - D Bone
What little accessable beach on this mile is closed at this time of the year for protection of harbor seals that might be giving birth.All 4 usual species of marine mammals were present. I would have...
March 26, 2009 - D Bone
There was the usual wet &/or muddy sections on the trail, streams and waterfalls, and erosion in the areas where I would expect to see them at this time of the year.There was new vandalism in the...


December 30, 2008 - D Bone
A total of 25 people were observed.17 were at the Simpson Reef Overlook watching the marine mammals below and looking for whales. Two of the 7 hikers had 2 dogs on leashes. One of the hikers was...
August 21, 2008 - D Bone
Wildlife again dominates the scene. Male California Sea Lions are returning from the breeding grounds.The last molting male Northern Elephant Seal is on the beach of Shell Island.I did see a...
March 30, 2008 - D Bone
Variety of wildlife species was abundant although numbers of some were not great (California and Steller Sea Lions). Cycles of the season were in effect with the Gray Whale migration (100 observed...


December 9, 2007 - D Bone
About a week before this observation, there had been sizeable storms in the area. This was evidenced by downed branches and trees as well as slides along the bluff(none were too serious). There was...
September 22, 2007 - D Bone
The mile had a good summer. Tree cone production was plentiful, and parts of the trail had good moisture content. The kelp forests were thick. This summer there were usually 4-6 summer Gray Whales in...
March 29, 2007 - D Bone
There were more land slides and larger ones than the last several years. Wildlife was as expected for this time of year. 7 Elephant Seals, many pregnant harbor seals, less than 1000 California Sea...


December 20, 2006 - D Bone
A 3ft. Santa Claus in driftline south of Sea Lion Overlook. 1 decomposed sea lion. Beach and trail free of litter. Benches free of vandalism. Wood chips placed on trail but still has a water”...
July 1, 2006 - D Bone
Two dead California Sea Lions and 1 dead Harbor Seal. Most California Sea Lions left area for breeding season. Large number of Stellar Sea Lions. Bog Lily restoration sites becoming overgrown with...