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Rancho del Oso Guided Hikes, Talks, & Events

Please click here for the monthly Interpretive Activities Schedule for parks in the Santa Cruz District of California State Parks. 


Rancho del Oso is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway One
Directions to the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center: follow the dirt road in from the south side of Waddell Creek Bridge where you see the sign for Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center. 
Directions to the Ranger Station: The ranger station is about a mile in from the green gate directly across the street from the Waddell Beach parking lot.  

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS AT RANCHO DEL OSO

Salamander Saturday featuring Newt Night!
Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 11am to 7pm
* Salamander Story time at 11 am
* Drop-in FREE Salamander Critter Crafts from Noon to 4 pm 
* Salamander Scavenger Hunt at 1 pm
* Newt Night! at 5 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.  Start out your day with Salamander Story time at 11 am where children will learn about salamanders and their habitats around the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center fireplace! Drop in at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center from Noon to 4 pm for a FREE family-friendly Salamander craft.  At 1 pm, meet at the gate across Highway One from Waddell Beach for a 3-mile guided Salamander Scavenger Hunt on the trail! Later, join us at the Nature and History Center for “Newt Night” at 5 pm to hear tales and songs of toes growing back, barking salamanders and poison so deadly it could kill you! Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center is 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.

Wildflower Weekend
Saturday, April 25, 2015 and Sunday, April 26, 2015 from Noon to 4pm
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’ll 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.

Grizzly Bear Festival
Saturday, August 15, 2015 from Noon to 4 p.m.
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. 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.