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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 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.

 

August

Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley
Friday, August 11 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 Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center. 
 
Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, August 12 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. Discover reptile adaptations while observing native snakes on display. Meet at the Rancho del Oso Ranger Station.

Nature Wander
Sunday, August 13 at 1pm
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.  Meet at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.

September

Grizzly Bear & Wildlife Day
Saturday, September 2 from noon – 4pm
“Bear Stories” with museum curator Lisa Robinson at 1pm
Ranger-led Hike at 3pm

Visit Rancho del Oso for a day of commemorating the once-abundant predator that roamed this "Ranch of the Bear." Join us for a day of crafts, face painting, Ranger-led hike, and an all-ages talk by museum curator Lisa Robinson (at 1pm). 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 Day. Ranger-led hike (at 3pm) will depart from the Nature Center deck and follow the Hoover Nature Trail (1 mile). The Rancho del Oso Nature & History Center is located off Highway 1 in Davenport.

Description of Bear Stories Talk with Lisa Robinson:
*The first 20-minutes of the talk is 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
Friday, September 8 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 Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center, located off Highway 1 in Davenport.

Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, September 9 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 while we discuss native reptile adaptations. Ranger Station is located ¼ mile inland from the yellow gate across from Waddell State Beach parking lot in Davenport.

Nature Wander
Sunday, September 10 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 off Highway 1 in Davenport.

Birding for Beginners in Waddell Valley
Saturday, September 9 at 8am
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 explore the beautiful coastal valley. 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. Meet at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.

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.