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Rancho del Oso Events

The Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center,  is located on the south side of the Waddell Creek Bridge, 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport.

The Rancho del Oso Ranger Staion is located on the north side of the Waddell Creek Bridge, ¼ mile inland from the yellow gate across from Waddell State Beach parking lot.

For more information, please call (831) 427-2288 or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Events made possible by California State Parks Volunteers and Waddell Creek Association.

 

Wilderness Patrol Training

Training begins Saturday, April 1 and runs through May for a total of 6 Saturdays.
Locations: Rancho del Oso – Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park, The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Email: rdopis@parks.ca.gov
Phone: (831) 427-2288

The Santa Cruz District of California State Parks is offering a Wilderness Patrol Volunteer Training in spring 2017. Wilderness Patrol Volunteers hike and/or mountain bike into scenic backcountry and contribute to the health and function of several in area California State Parks. With a minimum commitment of six hours per month, you will join our active team of docents whose goal is to contribute to the inspiration, education and enjoyment of visitors in our Parks. Space is limited.

 

April

Wildflower Weekend Special Event
Saturday, April 22 from Noon to 4 pm
Sunday, April 23 from Noon to 4 pm

Botanist-led wildflower walks at 10am and 1pm on Saturday & Sunday

Winter rains promise a profusion of spring wildflowers in the Waddell Valley - celebrate their arrival with us at Rancho del Oso’s annual Wildflower Weekend. Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is hosting this botanically captivating event exhibiting a collection of over fifty native plants in flower and several non-native species. Botanist-led wildflower walks will be offered at 10am and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. This free event is appropriate for all ages. The Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport.


Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley
Friday, April 7 at 10am
Join docent Bryce Stauble and learn to identify many of flowering plants within Rancho del Oso’s seven diverse habitats. This walk is a leisurely hike through Waddell Valley. This monthly hike is great for those interested in natural history and our local flora. Bring a snack, water and your curiosity! Meet at Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center, located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport.

Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, April 8 at 2pm
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Rancho del Oso Ranger Station to learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Several snakes will be on display and native reptile adaptations will be discussed in the beautiful backdrop of Waddell Valley! Ranger Station is located ¼ mile inland from the yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot, which is 17 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1 in Davenport.

Nature Wander
Sunday, April 9 at 1pm
Find out what’s growing and blooming right now in the Waddell Valley on this approximately 1 mile, 1.5 hour guided walk with docent naturalist Ann Garside. She will share information about the plants of Rancho del Oso as the group walks from coastal scrub through one of the last native stands of Monterey Pine left in the world.  Hike starts at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center, located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport.

March

A Special Event!
Salamander Saturday
Saturday, March 4 from noon to 4pm

Event is held at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.
Join us as the “Ranch of the Bear” becomes “Ranch of the Newt,” and participate in our annual celebration honoring the often overlooked, but well adapted amphibians. Live amphibians will be available for viewing. Ranger led salamander hike will start at 3 pm on the mile long Marsh Trail. This free event is appropriate for all ages.

“Salamanders of the Santa Cruz Mountains” talk by Amy Patten at 1pm
The diverse habitats of the Santa Cruz Mountains are home to a number of spectacular salamander species. Colorful newts, minute slender salamanders, or the impressive California Giant Salamander are just a few of the salamanders that you might see on a walk through the woods or even in your own backyard. Each species has special adaptations to meet the challenges of escaping predators, finding food, breeding and surviving harsh weather conditions. This presentation covers the natural history and behavior of these salamanders and highlights their importance in our local ecosystems.

 

Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley
Friday, March 10 at 10am
Meet at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.
Join docent Bryce Stauble and learn to identify many of flowering plants within Rancho del Oso’s seven diverse habitats. This walk is a leisurely hike through Waddell Valley. This monthly hike is great for those interested in natural history and our local flora. Bring a snack, water and your curiosity! 

Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, March 11 at 2pm
Meet at the Ranger Station
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, hear? What and how do they eat? What does a snake feel like? Come to the Rancho del Oso Ranger Station to learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Several snakes will be on display and native reptile adaptations will be discussed in the beautiful backdrop of Waddell Valley!

Nature Wander
Friday, March 12 at 1pm
Meet at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.
Find out what’s growing and blooming right now in the Waddell Valley on this approximately 1 mile, 1.5 hour guided walk with docent naturalist Ann Garside. She will share information about the plants of Rancho del Oso as the group walks from coastal scrub through one of the last native stands of Monterey Pine left in the world.

 

California State Parks Backpacking

CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Annual Special Events

Salamander Saturday
Saturday March 4, 2017 from Noon to 4 pm
Join us as the “Ranch of the Bear” becomes “Ranch of the Newt,” celebrating our amphibian friends that make their way from beneath rocks and under logs to the creeks, wetlands and puddles of the park.  Participate in our annual celebration honoring the often overlooked, but heroically well adapted amphibian. Live amphibians will be available for viewing. Ranger led salamander hike will start at 3 pm on the mile long Marsh Trail. This free event is appropriate for all ages. The Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport. Rancho del Oso is the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and is not accessible by vehicle from Big Basin Headquarters off of Highway 236. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association, California State Parks volunteers, and California State Parks. Visit us on the web at www.ranchodeloso.org.

Wildflower Weekend
Saturday, April 22, 2017 from Noon to 4 pm
Sunday, April 23, 2017 from Noon to 4 pm
Winter rains promise a profusion of spring wildflowers in the Waddell Valley. Come see them on display in the Rancho del Oso Nature Center and visit them on the park's trails during the Rancho del Oso Wildflower Weekend. You will see buttercups, shooting stars and western wake robin included in this annual exhibit of over fifty native plants in flower and several non-native species that are found in the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The assortment of flower shapes, sizes, colors and forms are a delight to the senses. This free event is appropriate for all ages. The Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport. Rancho del Oso is the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and is not accessible by vehicle from Big Basin Headquarters off of Highway 236. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association, California State Parks volunteers, and California State Parks. Visit us on the web at www.ranchodeloso.org.

Grizzly Bear Festival
Saturday September 2, 2017 from Noon to 4 pm
Come to Rancho del Oso for a day of commemorating the once-abundant predator that roamed this "Ranch of the Bear." Discover what they ate, how they lived, and what made this area famous for its grizzly population.  Throughout the day there will be crafts and activities for all ages. Come visit the Nature and History Center to hear stories about this powerful animal! This free event is appropriate for all ages. Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport. Rancho del Oso is the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and is not accessible by vehicle from Big Basin Headquarters off of Highway 236. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association, California State Parks volunteers, and California State Parks. Visit us on the web at www.ranchodeloso.org and www.parks.ca.gov.