Programs and Events

Learn about School Field Trips

Archive of Past Events

Drawing for the Love of Nature

Saturday, August 18, 2018 9–11 am
FREE – pre-register:

Join naturalist and artist Judy Sears for an introduction to Nature drawing techniques. We’ll explore nature journaling, “visual thinking” as introduced by John Muir Laws, and how to organize and display your observations. We’ll also explore “Seeing/Drawing” as taught by Frederick Franck, author of many books on drawing including “Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing.”

All ages are welcome and no experience is necessary, only your interest in exploring drawing as a way to become more familiar with what you see in Nature. We will sit quietly for up to 15 minutes at a time.

Drawing paper, pencils and erasers will be supplied. If you have a favorite 0.5 mm mechanical pencil bring it along, you may enjoy using it as your drawing tool.

Wildflower and Nature Hike of Waddell Valley

  • Friday, July 13th at 10 am
  • Friday, August 10th at 10 am
  • Friday, September 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.

Nature Wander

  • Sunday, June 10th at 1 pm
  • Sunday, July 8th at 1pm
  • Sunday, August 12th at 1pm
  • Sunday, September 9th at 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.

Special Event: Snake Park Saturday

Saturday, June 9th, 2 pm
Saturday, July 14th, 2 pm

Saturday, August 11th, 2 pm
Saturday, September 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, June 16th at 8 am
Saturday, July 14th, 8 am

Saturday, August 11th, 8 am
Saturday, September 15th, 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.

“When Species Collide”

  • Sunday, July 15th 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.