Rancho del Oso Guided Hikes, Talks, & Events

Rancho del Oso is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway One. Directions to the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center: follow the dirt road in from the south side of Waddell Creek Bridge where you see the sign for Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center. The ranger station is about a mile in from the green gate directly across the street from the Waddell Beach parking lot.  

APRIL ACTIVITIES AT RANCHO DEL OSO NATURE AND HISTORY CENTER

Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center
Located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway One, Davenport, California 95017
Now open Saturday & Sunday from noon to 4 pm.  For more information or to schedule a group call (831) 427-2288.  For our most up to date information, check out www.ranchodeloso.org or www.facebook.com/RDOSP
 
A Special Event!
Annual Wildflower Weekend
Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27
11 am to 4 pm
Spring has arrived in 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 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 am and 1:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday enable you to see the blooms in their natural setting, while learning about their unique features.

Wildflower Hike
Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 10 am
Hike starts at the Rancho del Oso gate located along Highway 1, across from the Waddell Beach parking lot. Take a hike among the wildflowers of Rancho del Oso’s Waddell Valley.  Docent Scott Peden will lead a 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!   

Fireside Stories
Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 11 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! 

Wildflower Weekend Critter Crafts
Sunday, April 26 and 27, 2014 from noon to 4 pm
Drop in for fun nature-themed craft time. We will have a FREE make-and-take-activity and any age child is welcome to participate!  This month we’ll be making critters that help make the wildflowers at Rancho del Oso bloom! Stop by throughout the afternoon at the Rancho del oso Nature and History Center.

Rancho del Oso Needs YOU to Volunteer in the park!
Training Classes begin April 12, 2014
Have you ever dreamt of afternoons spent in the company of a Grizzly Bear? Wondered what it would have been like as logger in the Waddell Valley? Planned to ride your bike to see a nearly 70 foot tall waterfall? Join our family of naturalists and enjoy the many benefits of being a volunteer at Rancho del Oso – Big Basin Redwoods State Park! As a volunteer at Rancho del Oso, located just 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, participants attend a four-week training session to become docent naturalists skilled in interpreting the natural and cultural history of the area.  Rancho del Oso docents lead guided walks, provide Wilderness Patrol, roving naturalist duty and host the Nature and History Center and Ranger Station. Training will be held for four Saturdays, starting April 12.

To participate, please contact Morgan at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center at (831) 427-2288 or email her at parksrdopis@parks.ca.gov.

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Waddell Creek Association

MAY ACTIVITIES AT RANCHO DEL OSO NATURE AND HISTORY CENTER

Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center
Located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz, at 3600 Highway One, Davenport, California 95017
Now open Saturday & Sunday from noon to 4 pm and Monday, May 26, 2014.  For more information or to schedule a group call (831) 427-2288.  For our most up to date information, check out www.ranchodeloso.org or www.facebook.com/RDOSP

Beach Clean Up at Waddell Beach
Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 9 am to noon
Before the busy summer season begins at Waddell Beach, come out and join Rancho del Oso for a spring-cleaning beach cleanup. Check-in will be in the Waddell Beach parking lot. Individual and small group volunteers are welcome. We will provide all necessary supplies, and we encourage volunteers to bring their own reusable buckets, gloves, and water bottles. For more information, contact parksrdopis@parks.ca.gov or call (831)427-2288.

Wildflower Hike
Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10 am
Want to explore the variety of wildflowers in Rancho del Oso?  Within Rancho del Oso's seven different habitats, there are easily over 50 species of flowers you can view in a day.  This hike is great for photographers who want to go slowly and take photos.  Please wear sturdy shoes, bring a lunch and drinking water!  Docent Scott Peden will lead this 4.5 mile hike that begins at the Nature and History Center.

Bike and Hike the Waddell Valley
Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10 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.  

The Romance of Rosy Ridge
Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 7 pm
Rancho del Oso goes Hollywood with a movie night at the Nature and History Center, featuring the “Rough! Tough! Terrific!” tale of The Romance of Rosy Ridge. Filmed in the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountains, and guest starring two of the Hoover family’s own Rancho del Oso horses (!!!), this hour and forty-five minute 1947 film tells the story of a rural community in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Enjoy a picnic on the porch before seeing a part of Rancho del Oso on the silver screen at the Rancho del Oso Nature and History Center!

Fireside Stories
Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 11 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! 

C.S.I. - Creekside Investigation!
Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 10 am
Bring the whole family to get down and look around as we become creek detectives out on the trail, searching to solve the aquatic mysteries of Waddell Creek!  We’ll hike to Waddell Creek, and use nets and other tools to discover all the tiny critters that live in the water and learn about why it is so important to keep our streams clean.  Wear shoes that you’re not afraid to get a little wet on this three hour, 3-mile hike and program.  We will meet at the Ranger Station, located approximately one mile from the gate opposite Waddell Beach.

Critter Crafts
Sunday, May 25, 2014 from 12 noon to 4 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!

Events made possible by California State Park Docents, California State Parks and Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS AT RANCHO DEL OSO

Newt Night
Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm
Join us as 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.  We’ll learn about newts and salamanders, sing songs, make crafts and even go out searching for newts!  

Wildflower Weekend
Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Winter rains promise a profusion of spring wildflowers in the Waddell Valley. Come see thSaveem 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’ll 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 western portion of Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The assortment of shapes, sizes, colors and forms are a delight to the senses.

Grizzly Bear Festival
August 16, 2014 from 12 noon to 4:00 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. Rancho Del Oso Nature and History Center is located 17 miles north of Santa Cruz along Highway One, at Waddell Creek This event is appropriate for all ages.