Mile 118 Report

March 30, 2008
by D Bone

Cape Arago, Simpson Reef, Shell Island, Sea Lion Viewpoint
Sunday 2:00 PM
Party cloudy
57° F
Calm/Light from the NW
Tide Level:
0.0 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
4-Observing wildlife.
Cars/Trucks parking:
Activity Comments:
One dog was not on a leash.Found dog vomit on the trail-no attempt had been made to clean it up.
Notable Wildlife:
Over 100 Gray Whales were observed passing this mile during Whale Watch Week.Less than 100 California Sea Lions present and only 2 Stellar Sea Lions.Large number of pregnant Harbor Seals and yearlings.Saw 4 female and 1 male Northern Elephant Seals.Previous week I had seen 2 juvenile Bald Eagles feeding on Shell Island and had 1 adult Bald Eagle and 1 adult Golden Eagle fly over.Also saw 6 Turkey Vultures,1 Harlequin Duck,2 Black Oystercatchers, numerous Pelagic Cormorants, and numerous Surf Scoters.
Dead Birds:
One Harbor Seal dead on Shell Island Beach.
Fish & Invertebrates:
Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.)
New Development:
Natural Changes:
1.The bog lily restoration biologist had a pen of 6 goats as an experiment in keeping down the brush in a portion of the study area. Someone turned them loose. As of this report,they had not been recovered.2.State Parks closed North Cove early(mid-Feb)to protect wildlife on that beach.
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 passing this mile during Whale Watch Week) and pregnant Harbor Seals in great evidence and the fact that the 1 Northern Elephant Seal pup has not been seen for 2 weeks (should have gone to sea). Four female and one male Northern Elephant Seal on Shell Island.Vandalism was limited to the release of 6 goats from a research project. As a note, the telescopes that were taken from the Shell Island viewing platform were found dumped from a bridge over a slough. Trail area was VERY clean this time, and all storm damage is off of the trail. Area was wet, even muddy in places but was stable. Although Golden Eagles aren't generally seen on the coast, 2 adults were seen last summer, and my observation indicates that at least 1 is still here. Also 6 Turkey Vultures, 1 Harlequin Duck, 2 Black Oystercatchers, numerous Pelagic Cormorants and numerous Surf Scoters were seen. Moderate human impact (7)- 3 walking and 4 observing wildlife. 2 dogs.
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 31, 2015 - D Bone
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...


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...


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...