• American Camp parade ground looking west

    San Juan Island

    National Historical Park Washington

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  • American Camp Visitor Center on Summer Schedule

    The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 1. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m More »

  • English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Summer Schedule

    The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily through September 1. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.

California Sea Lion

California-Sea-Lion
A California sea lion calls at Grandma's Cove at American Camp.
Lucas Pellant
 

These are the playful "circus seals" you see in zoos, circuses, and aquariums, that are easily trained to bark, clap their flippers, and perform stunts with beach balls and hoops. They are also notorious for seizing fish from lines and nets of fishing boats.

While at sea, they dive almost continuously, and propel themselves quickly through the water with long, paddle-like foreflippers. On land, they hump along quickly on all four rotating hind flippers.

Look for them hauled out in large groups on the sandy or rocky beaches of American Camp. They also hang out in the water in groups called rafts. The best way to identify them is their color: dark brown to black; pointed, dog-like snouts; and, on males five years and older, the large bump on the forehead called a sagittal crest. Plus, they often extend their flippers above the water's surface to regulate their body heat.

 
Fast Facts_california sealion

Did You Know?

Winfield Scott

Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott's Mexican War campaign was a set-piece example for cadets in both Europe and North America, but he was most celebrated as a peacemaker. He had resolved two other Anglo_american border disputes before coming to San Juan Island. More...