An increasing number of elephant seals are hauling up at Drakes Beach in the last three years, prompting the park to close the stretch of beach that extends west of the parking lot all the way to Chimney Rock, through March 15. “As we have seen in the past, storm and large swell events that directly impact the Point Reyes Headlands result in elephant seals leaving the exposed, outer coves and coming around to the calmer waters in Drakes Bay,” Dave Press, the park’s wildlife ecologist, explained. Biologists counted 681 seals in the closure, compared to just 462 in the historic colony below the overlook. — Anna Guth   David Briggs