Rancho del Oso Events
There is no vehicle access through the park from Big Basin Headquarters to Rancho del Oso; this portion of the park is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz off Highway 1.
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 Park Docents, California State Parks and Coastside State Parks Foundation.
Grizzly Bear Festival Special Event
Saturday, September 3 from noon to 4 pm
Guest Lecture by museum curator Lisa Robinson at 2 pm
Join us for a day of crafts, activities, face painting and an all-ages lecture by museum curator Lisa Robinson at 2pm. Unravel the truth and natural history of the California Grizzly Bear as Lisa illuminates the once prolific and eternally respected brown bear that roamed this land for centuries before its recent extirpation. Possibly California's most visible and enduring symbol, we pay tribute to its awesome size and strength here at Rancho del Oso's annual Grizzly Bear Festival. Family friendly activities will be available from noon to 4 pm at the Nature & History Center at Rancho del Oso located in Davenport.
Description of Bear Stories Talk with Lisa Robinson:
*The first 20-minutes of the talk will be geared towards a younger audience, followed by content focused for an older crowd.
In the mid-1700s, the San Francisco Peninsula was home to large numbers of grizzlies. The abundance of food was shared between the hierarchy of wildlife and the native peoples; there was plenty for all. In just a few decades, this would change. Confrontations between man and bear often resulted in death or serious injury. By the late-1800s there were few grizzlies left here and by 1900, grizzlies, once prolific, had been hunted to extinction. This presentation tells the stories of bear encounters, both grizzlies and black bears, in the Santa Cruz area from the late 1700s to the present day and reminds us that often our intolerance can lead to an unrecoverable and regrettable loss.
Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley
Saturday, September 10 at 10 am
Meet at the Nature and History Center
Join docent Scott Peden and learn to identify many of Waddell Valley’s plants within Rancho del Oso’s seven diverse habitats. Observe the monthly change of the ecosystems. Each walk is unique as blooming flowers and pollinators are constantly in flux! This walk is a leisurely four-hour amble that is great for learning the native habitat we are experiencing. Bring lunch, questions and spirited fervor!
Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, September 10 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!
Sunday, September 11 at 1 pm
Meet at the Nature and History Center
Find out what is 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.
Birding for Beginners in Waddell Valley
Saturday, September 10 at 8 am
Meet at the Nature and History Center
Interpreter Jeremy Lin will lead an approximate two-mile hike to observe and enjoy morning wildlife at Rancho del Oso. We will take our time and move slowly. No previous experience necessary. It is helpful to bring binoculars, bird guides and a readiness for patient observation as we witness wildlife awakening on a crisp Waddell Valley morning.
California Central Coast: photography workshop with professional R. Aaron Raymond
Saturday, September 24 from 10 am to 5 pm
Enroll at www.raaronraymond.com
Professional photographer R. Aaron Raymond along with California State Park Naturalist Interpreter Jeremy Lin will be leading a one-day photography workshop along the scenic coastline between Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Rocky ocean cliffs, ebullient waves and diverse wildlife abound in this unique coastal environment. Take your photography to the next level! Meets at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center. Be ready to hike at least a half mile with your camera equipment. Class size is limited. For more information please contact Aaron Raymond at (323) 393-5435 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beginner to advanced photographers will learn and practice hands-on techniques for taking stunning and powerful photos among beautiful stands of Monterey Pine and iconic shoreline landscape vistas. Aaron will give demonstrations and provide one-on-one coaching and lessons, helping you improve your photography skills and equipment knowledge.
California State Park Naturalist Interpreter Jeremy Lin will discuss the natural and cultural history the Waddell Valley of Rancho del Oso - Big Basin Redwoods State Park.
Annual Special Events 2016
Saturday, March 5, 2016 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 native to the Santa Cruz Mountains and other moist habitats. Live amphibians will be available for viewing. Ranger led salamander hike will start at 3 pm to search for these regal creatures on the mile long Marsh Trail. All age crafts and activities will be available at the Rancho del Oso Nature & History Center. Located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz along Highway One, at Waddell Creek at 3600 Hwy 1, Davenport, CA 95017. Free. For more information, call (831) 427-2288.
Saturday, April 23, 2016 from Noon to 4 pm
Sunday, April 24, 2016 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 western portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The assortment of shapes, sizes, colors and forms are a delight to the senses. Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz along Highway One, at Waddell Creek For more information, please call (831) 427-2288. 3600 Hwy 1, Davenport, CA 95017
Grizzly Bear Festival
Saturday, September 3, 2016 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! Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz along Highway One, at Waddell Creek This event is appropriate for all ages. Free. For more information, call (831) 427-2288. 3600 Hwy 1, Davenport, CA 95017.