Programs and Events

Learn about School Field Trips

Archive of Past Events

Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley

  • Friday, October 12th at 10 am
  • Friday, November 9th at 10 am
  • Friday, December 14th at 10 am


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!

*Hike will start across from Waddell Beach at the yellow gate.

Special Event: Snake Park Saturday

Saturday, October 13th, 2 pm
Saturday, November 10th, 2 pm

Saturday, December 8th, 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? 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!

Ranger Station is located ¼ mile inland from the yellow gate across from Waddell Beach parking lot.

Birding for Beginners in Waddell Valley

Saturday, October 13th at 8 am
Saturday, November 10th, 8 am

Saturday, December 8th, 8 am

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. We will meet at the deck in front of the Nature Center.

Drawing for the Love of Nature

Saturday, October 13th, 2018 10:30 am
Saturday, November 10th, 2018 10:30 am
Saturday, December 8th, 2018 10:30 am

FREE – pre-register:

To See — To Draw: Engaging your senses with intention and curiosity with Judy Sears, California Naturalist, student of Art and Nature

Join Judy Sears in exploring nature drawing. 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 art drawing experience necessary. Just bring a notepad with a rigid back, a pencil and your curiosity. You may also wish to bring something so you can sit comfortably on the ground. Come enjoy the process of developing your nature drawing style. This workshop follows the 8 am bird walk for beginners and usually ends at noon.

“When Species Collide”

  • Sunday, October 21st at 10 am
  • Sunday, August 19th at 10 am
  • Sunday, September 16th at 10 am

How did Rancho del Oso become the park it is today? Who are the plants and animals that live here? Why are they here? How did humans influence the natural history of the Waddell Valley?

Join Rancho del Oso docent Ken Koll for a 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 natives vs. non-native, invasives, and adaptations.

The hike will begin at 10am at the Rancho del Oso entrance gate (yellow gate on the inland side of highway one, across from Waddell Beach parking lot). The hike will be approximately 4 miles. Bring water, snacks if you wish, and wear sturdy footwear. Don’t forget your curiosity and inner-naturalist. It will be a great day.