Archive of Past Events

2017

Celebrate Wildflower Weekend!

Saturday & Sunday, April 22-23, 12-4 pm

Winter’s abundant rain promises a profusion of spring wildflowers in the Waddell Valley. Rancho del Oso’s elegant and botanically captivating annual event will feature an impressive collection of vibrant wildflowers growing in the area. Each year offers it’s own unique sampling of the flowers appearing along Rancho del Oso’s trails—buttercups, paintbrush, lupine, iris, poppies, bleeding hearts, and more. Up to eighty native plant species along with several non-native species found blooming in the western portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park will be on display in the Nature Center. They will be arranged by habitat, and labeled  with Latin names as well as common names. The assortment of shapes, sizes, colors and forms are a delight to the senses!

Waddell Valley Watercolor Workshop Series

Saturday, April 15 10 am
Saturday, May 20 10 am

Joyce Rosenstiel will be leading this four day watercolor workshop series for beginner and almost intermediate artists. Students will focus on watercolor basics, assembling your painting kit, and fundamentals for landscape and nature painting. Waddell Valley is an inspirational place to start your watercolor journey. Learn to assemble a six by nine inch sketch and 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. If you always wanted to try your hand at painting, there is no time like the present!

This will be a hands-on learning class. We will look at a scene together, then figure out several 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 four-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.

Waddell Valley Wildflower and Nature Hike

Friday, April 7, 10 am
Friday,  May 12, 10 amJoin RDO intern Bryce Stauble and learn to identify many of the flowering plants within Rancho del Oso’s seven diverse habitats. This walk is a leisurely hike through Waddell Valley, and is a great hike 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, April 9, 1 pm
Sunday, May 14, 1 pm
Sunday, June 11, 1 pm

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.

Ann 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.

Snake Park Saturday

Saturday, April 8, 2 pm
Saturday, May 13, 2 pm
Saturday, June 10, 2 pm

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? Meet at the Rancho del Oso Ranger Station to learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Docent Diane Shaw will give a talk about snakes and Naturalist Jeremy Lin will lead a short informative hike to find snakes and other reptiles!

Salamander Saturday:

Saturday, March 4, 12-4 pm

Join us for our annual celebration honoring the often overlooked, but heroically well-adapted amphibians native to the Santa Cruz Mountains and other moist habitats. Live amphibians will be on display for viewing, with all-age crafts, and activities. Ranger-led salamander hike will start at 3 pm to search for these regal creatures on the Marsh Trail. Learn about salamanders and their ecosystems on this short one mile hike! For more information: (831) 427-2288.

Waddell Valley Birding

Saturday, January 14, 8 am
Saturday, February 11, 8 am

Birding for all skill levels. Join Interpretive Specialist Jeremy Lin, for an approximate two mile hike to observe, listen, and enjoy morning birding in Waddell Valley. We will take our time and move slowly. Bring binoculars, a bird guide and readiness for silent observation, as we witness wildlife awakening on a crisp winter day. We will meet on the deck in front of the Nature Center.

2016:

SPECIAL EVENT! Grizzly Bear Festival
Saturday, September 3, 12-4 pm

Join us for a day of family-friendly crafts, activities, face painting and an all-ages lecture by San Lorenzo Valley Museum Curator, Lisa Robinson at 2 pm. Unravel the truth and natural history of the California Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos californicus), 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 Festival.

SPECIAL EVENT! Wildflower Festival
Saturday & Sunday, April 23 and 24, 12-4pm

Late winter rains have promised a profusion of spring wildflowers in the Waddell Valley. Rancho del Oso’s elegant and botanically captivating annual event will have on display an impressive collection of vibrant wildflowers. Botanist-led wildflower walks will be offered at 10 am and 1 pm on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll see buttercups, shooting stars, and western wake robin included in an exhibit of over fifty flowering native plants 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.

Waddell Valley Wildflower and Nature Hike
Saturday, April 9, 10 am
Sunday, May 15, 10 am
Saturday,  June 11, 10 am

Join docent Scott Peden 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 is a leisurely four-hour amble that is great for learning while experiencing the native habitat. Bring lunch, questions and spirited fervor! April’s hike starts at the yellow gate across from the Waddell Beach parking lot. May and June hikes start at the Nature and History Center.

Nature Wander
Sunday, April 10th at 1 pm
Sunday, May 8th at 1 pm
Sunday, June 12, 1 pm

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.

Waddell Valley Birding
Saturday, May 14 at 8 am
Saturday, June 11 at 8 am

Birding for all skill levels. Join Interpretive Specialist Jeremy Lin, for an approximate two mile hike to observe, listen, and enjoy morning birding in Waddell Valley. We will take our time and move slowly. Bring binoculars, a bird guide and readiness for silent observation, as we witness wildlife awakening on a crisp winter day. We will meet on the deck in front of the Nature Center.

Snake Park Saturday
Saturday, April 9th at 10 am
Saturday, May 14th at 10 am
Saturday, June 11th at 10 am

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 Nature and History Center to meet Docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes. Diane will give a talk about snakes and Naturalist Jeremy Lin will lead a short informative hike to find snakes and other reptiles!

Salamander Saturday
Saturday, March 5th at 12-4pm

Join us for our annual celebration honoring the often overlooked, but heroically well-adapted amphibians native to the Santa Cruz Mountains and other moist habitats. Live amphibians will be on display for viewing, with all-age crafts, and activities.

Herpetologist Amy Patten will present her talk, Salamanders of the Santa Cruz Mountains, at 1 pm.

Ranger-led salamander hike will start at 3 pm to search for these regal creatures on the Marsh Trail. Learn about salamanders and their ecosystems on this short one mile hike! For more information: (831) 427-2288.

2015:

SPECIAL EVENT! Grizzly Bear Festival
Saturday, August 15th 12-4pm

Unravel the truth and natural history of the California Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos californicus) with museum curator Lisa Robinson as she 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 Festival. Lisa’s talk will start at 1pm. Family friendly activities and crafts will be available from noon to 4pm at the Nature and History Center at Rancho del Oso located at 3600 Highway 1 in Davenport.

June 2015

Nature Wander Sunday, June 14th 2015 at 1:00 pm

Find out what’s growing and blooming right now in the Waddell Valley on this 1 mile, 1.5 hour guided walk with docent naturalist Ann Garside. Ann 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.  Bring questions, curiosity and energy to walk and learn.

Hike starts at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center

Wildflower Walk Saturday, June 13th 2015 at 10:00 am

Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent and native plant specialist  Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom!  Photographers are easily accommodated.  Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike!

Hikes will begin:

  • May-October – at Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center
  • November-April – at Rancho del Oso yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot

May 2015

Wildflower Walk Saturday, May 23th 2015 at 10:00 am

Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley. Docent and native plant specialist  Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom! Photographers are easily accommodated. Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike!

Hikes will begin:

  • May-October – at Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center
  • November-April – at Rancho del Oso yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot

Nature Wander Sunday, May 10th 2015 at 1:00 pm

Find out what’s growing and blooming right now in the Waddell Valley on this 1 mile, 1.5 hour guided walk with docent naturalist Ann Garside. Ann 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.  Bring questions, curiosity and energy to walk and learn.

Hike starts at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center

Wildflower Walk Saturday, May 9th 2015 at 10:00 am

Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley. Docent and native plant specialist  Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom! Photographers are easily accommodated. Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike!

Hikes will begin:

  • May-October – at Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center
  • November-April – at Rancho del Oso yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot

April 2015

Special Event! Wildflower Festival Saturday April 25th and Sunday April 26th, 11:00-4:00 pm

Spring is coming to the Waddell Valley! Each year a unique variety of flowers appear, in an assortment of colors and forms to delight the senses. Come and see what’s in bloom at the annual Rancho del Oso Wildflower Weekend.
View the flowers on display at the Nature and History Center and visit them on the park’s trails with displays featuring 50 or more native and

Nature Wander Sunday, April 12th 2015 at 1:00 pm

Find out what’s growing and blooming right now in the Waddell Valley on this 1 mile, 1.5 hour guided walk with docent naturalist Ann Garside. Ann 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.  Bring questions, curiosity and energy to walk and learn.

Hike starts at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center

Wildflower Walk Saturday, April 11th 2015 at 10:00 am

Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent and native plant specialist  Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom!  Photographers are easily accommodated.  Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike!

Hikes will begin:

  • May-October – at Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center
  • November-April – at Rancho del Oso yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot

non-native species, labeled and grouped by habitat. There will be kid-friendly activities in the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center as well! Naturalist led wildflower walks at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday that will enable you to see the blooms in their natural setting while learning about their unique features.


2014:

December 2014

Tide Pool Exploration
Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Come explore the wonders of the tide pools just south of Waddell Beach – from anemones and sea stars to hermit crabs and kelp! We’ll meet at the Waddell Beach parking lot at 2 pm and make our way down the beach towards Greyhound Rock.  Join us for this minus-tide adventure – but be sure to bring warm clothes, binoculars if you have them and tide pooling shoes!

Wildflower Hike
Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 10:00 am
Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent naturalist Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom!  Photographers are easily accommodated.  Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike! Hike starts at the yellow gate located across the street from Waddell Beach.    

Fireside Stories
Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 11:00 am
Pretend, play, sing and explore! Bring the family and gather round the fireplace together at the Nature and History Center for a story followed by activities focused on the theme of the story. This 30-minute program will introduce youngsters (recommend children be at least 3) to the wonders of nature!

Critter Crafts
Sunday, December 21, 2014 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Drop in for fun nature-themed craft time at the Nature and History Center. We will have a FREE make-and-take-activity most children can complete independently, although parents may need to assist preschool-aged children. Any age child is welcome to participate!


November 2014

Wildflower Hike
Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 10:00 am
Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent naturalist Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom!  Photographers are easily accommodated.  Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike! Hike starts at the yellow gate located across the street from Waddell Beach.

Fireside Stories
Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm
Pretend, play, sing and explore! Bring the family and gather round the fireplace together at the Nature and History Center for a story followed by activities focused on the theme of the story. This 30-minute program will introduce youngsters (recommend children be at least 3) to the wonders of nature!

Raptors at the Ranch
Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Join Rancho del Oso, in cooperation with Native Bird Connections, for a dynamic presentation of LIVE non-releasable wild birds at the Nature and History Center! In this hour-long program, there will also be touchable artifacts that include feet, feathers, wings and skulls of various birds. Bring questions for this exciting afternoon learning more about these powerful birds, and what the world looks like through their eyes.

Critter Crafts
Sunday, November 16, 2014 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Drop in for fun nature-themed craft time at the Nature and History Center. We will have a FREE make-and-take-activity most children can complete independently, although parents may need to assist preschool-aged children. Any age child is welcome to participate!

Way up to Westridge Hike
Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 10:00 am
Join us on a hike up the Clark Connection Trail to where it meets the Westridge Trail. We’ll travel from sea level to views of Ano Nuevo and coastal valleys atop the ridge on this strenuous, 4-hour, 6-mile hike.  Arrive early at the Highway 1 gate across from Waddell Beach, and then walk in approximately 1 mile to the Ranger Station to meet your guide. Bring plenty of water, lunch, and energy to hike!


October 2014

Wildflower Hike
Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10:00 am
Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent naturalist Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom!  Photographers are easily accommodated.  Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike! Hike starts at the yellow gate located across the street from Waddell Beach.
 
Fireside Stories
Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 11:00 am
Pretend, play, sing and explore! Bring the family and gather round the fireplace together at the Nature and History Center for a story followed by activities focused on the theme of the story. This 30-minute program will introduce youngsters (recommend children be at least 3) to the wonders of nature!
 
Critter Crafts
Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Drop in for fun nature-themed craft time at the Nature and History Center. We will have a FREE make-and-take-activity most children can complete independently, although parents may need to assist preschool-aged children. Any age child is welcome to participate!

Movie Night at the Nature and History Center
Night at the Museum on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Rancho del Oso goes Hollywood with a night at the Nature and History Center, featuring the comedy Night at the Museum. Join us for this family-friendly film, surrounded by a grizzly bear, mountain lion and more! Enjoy a picnic on the porch before seeing a museum come to life at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center!
 
The Creepy Crawlies of Rancho del Oso
Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Face your fears of the creepy crawlies, as docent Diane Shaw shares her love of snakes, bats, dark forests and the scary things that go bump in the night.  She will share about what makes these creatures and places so unique and special, and will even have a live snake to touch! This hour long program will be held at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.


September 2014

Way up to Westridge Hike
Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 10:00 am
Join us on a hike up the Clark Connection Trail to where it meets the Westridge Trail. We’ll travel from sea level to views of Ano Nuevo and coastal valleys atop the ridge on this strenuous, 4-hour, 6-mile hike.  Arrive early at the Highway 1 gate across from Waddell Beach, and then walk in approximately 1 mile to the Ranger Station to meet your guide. Bring plenty of water, lunch, and energy to hike!

Wildflower Hike
Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 10:00 am
Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent naturalist Scott Peden will lead an approximately 4-mile hike to view a variety of wildflowers – there’s always something exciting in bloom!  Photographers are easily accommodated.  Show up with lunch, water and energy to hike! Hike starts at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center.

Fireside Stories
Sunday, September 14, 2014 at 11:00 am
Pretend, play, sing and explore! Bring the family and gather round the fireplace together at the Nature and History Center for a story followed by activities focused on the theme of the story. This 30-minute program will introduce youngsters (recommend children be at least 3) to the wonders of nature!

Annual Coastal Cleanup Day
September 20, 2014 from 9 am – 12 pm
Join Save Our Shores for California’s biggest volunteer effort, Coastal Cleanup Day 2014 at Waddell Beach. Save Our Shores will provide cleanup supplies but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves, buckets, and a reusable water bottle.  There will be snacks at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center after the cleanup for participants! If you have any questions, please contact (831)427-2288.

Bike and Hike the Waddell Valley
September 27, 2014 at 10:00 am
Pump up the tires on your bike, grab your helmet and bike lock, and bring a lunch and plenty of water on this guided bike and hike. Together, we’ll ride up the canyon, learning about and seeing the sights of the Waddell Valley, including the Eagle Tree, remnants of William Waddell’s logging operation, banana slugs and more. We will travel up to 14 miles, dependent on the group, and we may even make it all the way to beautiful Berry Creek Falls! This bike and hike requires a bike that can handle rough fire roads.  Participants must provide their own bikes, locks and helmets.  The bike and hike will meet at the Ranger Station, located less than a mile in from the yellow gate opposite Waddell Beach, 17 miles north of Santa Cruz. Call (831)427-2288 with any questions.

Critter Crafts
Sunday, September 28, 2014 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Drop in for fun nature-themed craft time at the Nature and History Center. We will have a FREE make-and-take-activity most children can complete independently, although parents may need to assist preschool-aged children. Any age child is welcome to participate!