Once in a Lifetime Big Sur Eco-Experiences
Tips for viewing condors while visiting Big Sur:
California Condor 2-Hour Viewing Tour
Ventana Wildlife Society, with National Park Service, manages the central California population of wild California Condors, currently at more than 60 birds. If you are unable to join us for a tour (see description below), you still have an excellent opportunity to view condors on your own while driving along the coast near Big Sur. The Highway 1 pullouts between Nepenthe Restaurant and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park are good places to stop and scan for condors cruising along the coast or soaring over the ridges. Good luck!"
$50/person (Must sign up through Salinas office in advance)
This two-hour tour will lead you down the coast to view magnificent and endangered California condors. Our knowledgeable staff will use radio telemetry to track while taking in the beautiful Big Sur coast.
To sign up please contact 831-455-9514 email:
Weather in the Big Sur region changes quickly and unexpectedly. We would normally wait until Sunday to decide to cancel a tour, but with the remote location, we respect that most of you are coming from out of town. If the weather forecast on the Friday prior to the scheduled tour states that there is a 50% or more chance of rain for Sunday, the tour will be cancelled. If the tour is cancelled: you will receive either an email or phone call to let you know that the tour will not take place and to reschedule. When signing up for the tour, please make sure to provide us with the best way to get a hold of you the Friday afternoon prior to the scheduled tour (cell #, email, hotel name…).
California Condor Sanctuary Tour
May - December
$1,000 (Maximum 4 people)
Spend a day with Executive Director, Kelly Sorenson in Big Sur and go searching for condors! Meet at the Discovery Center then travel up to our remote condor sanctuary, high into the Big Sur wilderness on a private dirt road. Ventana Wildlife Society’s condor sanctuary is located in a coastal canyon 2,800 feet above the ocean which is only three miles away! Wild birds often perch near the cabin and are frequently seen in the areas. This tour includes lunch and snacks.
Teen Condor Wilderness Camps - click here for more information
This educational experience is for 13-18 year olds interested in what it takes to be a wildlife field biologist working with endangered species. It is an intense field experience and not for the faint of heart! Over 3 days teens will receive a crash course in basic ornithology, meet ornithologists and condor biologists, learn about the condor reintroduction program, track wild condors utilizing GIS and radio telemetry, and participate in a work project directly benefiting the condors, while camping along the coast and at our remote condor base camp.
Our staff has considerable knowledge of where condors are most likely to be seen - as well as tracking equipment - however condors are wild birds and we can never guarantee a sighting. That being said, nearly all of our tours are successful in viewing free-flying California condors.