Programs and Events

Learn about School Field Trips

Archive of Past Events

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!