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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, ΒΌ 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.

February

Waddell Valley Watercolor Workshop Series
4-part series – registration is required; classes are free
To reserve a space, please call (831) 427-2288 or email rdopis@parks.ca.gov

Saturday, February 18 at 10 am
Saturday, March 18 at 10 am
Saturday, April 15 at 10 am
Saturday, May 20 at 10 am

Joyce Rosenstiel will be leading a 4-day watercolor workshop series for beginner and intermediate artists. Students will focus on watercolor basics, assembling your painting kit and fundamentals for landscape and nature painting. Learn to assemble a 6’ x 9’ sketch & paint travel kit for summer adventures. From Rancho del Oso to the Grand Canyon, capturing the essence of unique landscapes through your art will stay with you for many years, often more profoundly than a photograph.

This is a hands-on learning class. We will look at a scene together, then figure out a number of ways to sketch it out, and to mix the colors best needed to capture it on paper. You don’t need to bring anything to the first class but curiosity and a wish to learn more. You can mix any color in nature from red, yellow and blue paint!

This is a 4-part series and registration is required, there is no fee. Please call (831-427-2288) or email (rdopis@parks.ca.gov) to reserve a spot. This is a small group class, space is limited.

Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley
Friday, February 10 at 10 am
Location: Nature and History Center
Join Docent Bryce Stauble and learn to identify many of the Waddell Valley’s plants within Rancho del Oso’s seven diverse habitats. This walk is a leisurely hike through Waddell Valley. This monthly hike is great for those interested in natural history and our local flora. Bring a snack, water and your curiosity! Meet at Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.

Nature Wander
Sunday, February 12 at 1 pm
Location: Nature and History Center
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. 

Birding for Beginners in Waddell Valley
Saturday, January 14 at 8 am
Location: Nature and History Center
Interpreter Naturalist 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.

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.