Northern elephant seals, harbor seals, and sea lions are found at South Beach during the winter and also can be viewed from Chimney Rock. After being absent for more than 150 years, elephant seals returned to the Point Reyes Headlands in the early 1970s. From December through March a breeding colony of elephant seals can be observed from Elephant Seal Overlook near Chimney Rock, above Drakes Bay.
From the overlook visitors can observe the behavior of the animals, including the birthing of pups. During weekends and holidays, trained docents staff the Overlook. They have binoculars, spotting scopes and information to share with visitors.