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 Station 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.
Saturday, March 3 from 12pm to 4pm
Presentation at 1pm: “Salamanders of the Santa Cruz Mountains” by Amy Patten
Guided Hike at 3pm
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. Live amphibians will be available for viewing. Ranger-led salamander hike will start at 3pm on the mile long Marsh Trail. Herpetologist Amy Patten is presenting
Salamanders of the Santa Cruz Mountains,” an all ages presentation at 1pm. This free event is appropriate for all ages.
“Salamanders of the Santa Cruz Mountains”
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 9 at 10am
Join docent botanist Bryce Stauble 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 takes a leisurely pace that is great for learning the native habitat we are experiencing. Bring lunch, questions and curiosity! Meet at the yellow gate across from the Waddell State Beach parking area.
Sunday, March 11 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. Meet at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.
California State Parks Backpacking
CLICK HERE for more information.
Annual Special Events
Saturday March 3, 2018 from Noon to 4pm
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 3pm on the mile long Marsh Trail. This free event is appropriate for all ages.
Saturday May 5, 2018 from 10am to 4 pm
Sunday May 6, 2018 from 10am to 4 pm
Guided hikes at 10am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday
Rancho del Oso’s annual Wildflower Weekend event displays over 80 plants in bloom including species found in the Waddell Valley, the coastal portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The 10am hike is a moderately paced 4.5-mile hike along the Marsh Trail to the Skyline to the Sea Bypass Trail. The 1pm hike is a 1-mile wildflower excursion through multiple habitats along the Hoover Nature Trail.