Image of Seal Rocks of San Francisco; tram-canvaImage of Cliff HouseSeal Rocks of San Francisco lies beneath the Cliff House at Lands End in San Francisco.  The restaurant has been remodeled in the old neoclassical style with a two-story dining room where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.  In recent years patrons would witness only birds on Seal Rocks, but El Nino has driven hordes of the sea lions north looking for food.  Sardines, white sea bass, herring and mackerel are luring in the brown fury creatures.   Many use Seal Rocks as a resting stop before venturing further up the coast or into the bay to sunbathe near Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.

Seal Rocks and the Tram:

The seals started appearing in droves in January of 1990 shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake of ’89. Interesting.  I wonder if there was a connection?  During the winter, the population of the boisterous critters soon grew to 900.  In the summer, they have been migrating south to the Channel Islands to breed.  A few, however, remain year round within the Bay, using Seal Rocks and Pier 39 as their permanent homes.

In the old days, a great view of Seal Rocks was had from the Sky Tram, which was first built in 1955 by the Whitney brothers who had been purchasing attractions from The Chutes Amusement Park.  For twenty-five cents, you could take the four-minute ride, dangling two hundred feet above the ground.  You would embark from just below the Cliff House, travel across the Sutro Baths basin and dismount at Point Lobos promontory where you would be greeted by two man-made waterfalls.  But like many good things, the Sky Tram would become the victim of greed.  Along with Sutro Baths and Playland At The Beach, the tram closed down to either make room for condos or to become the new playground for unruly youths of the seventies, or so I’ve been told by my unruly friends.  Right, Big Steve?  Progress comes in many forms, I guess.  To each his own.