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.

 

California State Parks Backpacking

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August

Birding for Beginners in Waddell Valley
Saturday, August 10 at 8am
Interpreter Jeremy Lin will lead an approximate 2 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. Please RSVP to jeremy.lin@parks.ca.gov. Meet at the deck in front of the nature center. Free event. For more information, call (831) 427-2288. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.

Drawing for the Love of Nature
Saturday, August 10 at 10:30am
Join Judy Sears, California Naturalist, for a 1.5 hour nature drawing session after our 8am bird walk. If the weather is pleasant, the group will stay outside to discuss and practice ways to draw what you are most curious about in nature – from leaf to watershed. No drawing experience necessary. Just bring a notepad with a rigid back, a pencil, and your curiosity. You may also wish to bring a chair or pillow so you can sit comfortably on the ground. Please RSVP to sears.judyarcata@gmail.com. Meet at nature center. Free event. For more information, call (831) 427-2288. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.

Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, August 10 at 2pm
Why are snakes important to us? How do they see, smell, taste, and 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! Park at Waddell Beach and walk 0.4 miles past the yellow gate along the Skyline to the Sea Trail to the ranger station. Rain cancels. Free event. For more information, call (831) 427-2288 Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.

When Species Collide
Sunday, August 18 at noon
Join docent Ken Koll (kenneth_koll@yahoo.com) for a four-mile hike on the beautiful Skyline to Sea Bypass Trail. Along the way we will pass through the varied habitats of the Waddell Valley and explore topics like native vs. non-native plants, invasive species, and adaptations. Bring water, snacks, and sturdy footwear. Park at Waddell Beach and walk through the entrance gate (yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot) 0.25 miles to the ranger station. Free event. For more information, call (831) 427-2288. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.

 

Annual Special Events

Salamander Saturday
Saturday, March 2, 2019 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. Live amphibians will be available for viewing. Herpetologist Amy Patten is presenting “Salamanders of the Santa Cruz Mountains,” an all-ages talk at 1pm. Naturalist-led salamander hike will start at 3pm on the mile-long Marsh Trail. All-age crafts and activities will be available at the Nature Center. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Event free. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.

Wildflower Weekend
Saturday May 4, 2019 from 10am to 4 pm
Sunday May 5, 2019 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. Botanist-led Wildflower Walks are offered at 10am and 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday. 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. The Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport. For more information, please call (831) 427-2288, or email parksRDOPIS@parks.ca.gov. Event made possible by Waddell Creek Association and California State Parks.