Weekend Ranger Programs

Date & Time
Every Sunday Weekly & Every Saturday Weekly from 10/01/2016 to 12/30/2018 1:30 PM
Fee Information
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A female ranger gesturing toward some red berries while talking with visitors on a ranger-led program.

Come join a Park Ranger to learn more about Point Reyes National Seashore's natural and cultural history. Topics may cover earthquakes and plate tectonics, the Coast Miwok, Francis Drake, the U.S. Lifesaving Service, or area flora and fauna. Some presentations may use the park's Science On a Sphere® (SOS) to help explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating. Stop by or call the Bear Valley Visitor Center at 415-464-5100 x2 x5 for additional information about scheduled programs. Some programs may require up to a 1.6 kilometer (one mile) walk on easy to moderate trails. Meet at 1:30 pm at the Bear Valley Visitor Center (unless otherwise noted).

Currently planned* ranger-led programs

Date Program Title
Saturday, October 20 "On Shaky Ground" nature walk
Sunday, October 21 "A Brief History of Your National Parks" slide show
Saturday, October 27 "Bats of Point Reyes" slide show"
Sunday, October 28 "Bats of Point Reyes" slide show"

* Program schedule subject to change.

Program descriptions:

Below are brief descriptions of the programs that current Park Rangers present. Please note that we usually only offer one program per weekend day. Please see the "Currently planned ranger-led programs" section immediately above for a listing of programs that are currently scheduled to be presented.

"Bats of Point Reyes" slide show
Human perceptions about bats have varied throughout history. Are they evil or good? Are they vampires? There are a lot of myths about bats. Dispel some of your misconceptions by learning about these amazing nocturnal animals. Join a Ranger in the auditorium for a one-hour long PowerPoint presentation. Bat Week will be October 24 through October 31, 2018.

"Birding Bear Valley" nature walk
Curious about birds and birding? Join this one-hour ranger-led bird walk for beginners and all others as we look for resident birds and migrants as we walk around areas of the Bear Valley Visitor Center, which may include the Earthquake Trail, the Woodpecker Trail, and Kule Loklo. Please bring binoculars if you have them. Starts at 9:30 am, not at 1:30 pm, unless otherwise noted.

"Birding Estero Trail" nature walk
Join a ranger-led bird walk on the Estero Trail. We will meet at the Estero trailhead parking lot at 1:30 pm and walk about a mile to the footbridge, looking and listening for birds along the way. Plan on hiking at least a total of two miles on flat but uneven terrain. We may also continue past the bridge and walk uphill to the first overview for views of the Estero, weather permitting. Bring water and wear layers because weather can be quite variable. We will hope to see land birds, shorebirds, and raptors. Directions from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to the Estero Trailhead.

"Birds of Prey" nature walk
Join a Ranger to learn about the birds of prey at Point Reyes. Learn about their adaptations and habits, and hope to see a red-shouldered hawk or a white-tailed kite and more. This 1-hour long program begins at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. From there, we will take a 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) long walk along the wheelchair-accessible Earthquake Trail. Feel free to bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes.

"A Brief History of Your National Parks" slide show
Learn more about your national parks and the history of the National Park Service. Join a Ranger in the Bear Valley Visitor Center's auditorium for a 45-minute long PowerPoint presentation.

"Deciphering the Green Blur" nature walk
Do you ever look out on the forest and just see a big blur of green? Get to know the plants of Point Reyes National Seashore by taking a guided 1 hour walk on some of the trails around the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

"Going Green with the Green and Gray"
Join a Ranger on a 30-minute walking tour highlighting eco-friendly technology and sustainability efforts in Bear Valley at Point Reyes National Seashore.

"Icehouse/Greenhouse" SOS program
Scientists have concluded that periods of so-called greenhouse (warmer, wetter) conditions are times of mass extinctions compared to icehouse (cold, dry) conditions. Causes of climate swings vary, and we are living in the time of human-caused change.

"It's a Small World" SOS program
Although the earth is quite an expansive place from our individual perspectives, it can appear to be quite small when we consider the human and natural connections throughout it. Explore these connections with a ranger and gain a new perspective on our planet that can help us take the first step towards global stewardship.

Kule Loklo Walk
This lesiurely 1.3-kilometer (0.8-mile) tour introduces visitors to the Coast Miwok and their history and culture. Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Lasts 1 to 1.5 hours.

"A Land in Motion" nature walk
Explore the geologic setting of Point Reyes National Seashore and the San Andreas Fault Zone as we look into the past, present, and future of this park on the move. Meet a Park Ranger at the start of the Earthquake Trail for this easy 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) walk. Lasts 1 to 1.5 hours.

"The Motion of the Ocean" SOS program
The world's oceans absorb vast amounts of carbon and produce a substantial portion of the oxygen that we breathe. Humans have greatly accelerated the amount of carbon going into our oceans, with some alarming consequences.

"On Shaky Ground" nature walk
Dare to tread the San Andreas Fault where the earth's crust shifted and moved 5 meters (16 feet) in 1906! Meet a Park Ranger at the start of the Earthquake Trail for this easy 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) walk. Lasts 1 to 1.5 hours.

"Our Dynamic Planet" nature walk
Our Earth is always moving and changing, and at Point Reyes we can see first-hand the signs of this change. Take a walk on the Earthquake Trail to discover the geology of Point Reyes and what it can teach us about our dynamic planet! Meet a Park Ranger at the Bear Valley Visitor Center for a brief introduction using the Science on a Sphere before beginning this easy 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) walk. Lasts 1 to 1.5 hours.

Park Orientation
Join a Park Ranger for a 15 to 30 minute overview of what to see and do at Point Reyes National Seashore.

"Planet Ocean" SOS program
Learn how the ocean influences our lives, how we humans are changing the ocean and its ecosystems, and what you can do to help protect the ocean.

"Point Reyes - God Help the Hapless Mariner..."
Explore the maritime history of Point Reyes, including shipwrecks, lifesaving, lighthouse, and maritime radio.

"Revenge of the Nurdles" Beach Walk
Join a ranger down at Drakes Beach to learn about micro-plastic pollution and to pick up and remove any nurdles that we might find on the beach. Nurdles are small beads of plastic that are part of the production process of plastics that enter the waterways and wind up on our shores as pollution. Bring a water bottle, sunscreen, layers and a hat, and a container with a lid to collect nurdles in. Optional: a small colander or hand-held sifter to sift nurdles from the sand. Drakes Beach is a 30-minute drive from the Bear Valley Visitor Center. We will meet at 1:30 pm on the beach side of the Kenneth C. Patrick Visitor Center. The program will last approximately 1–1.5 hours.

Science on a Sphere program
Join a Ranger to get a perspective of planet Earth that once was available only to astronauts. Science on a Sphere® (SOS) gives visitors a view of the Earth and the forces that shape life on our planet. Learn about wildlife migrations, atmospheric and geologic events, and even other celestial bodies. The Science on a Sphere® can be used to explain complex environmental processes in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating. Meet at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

"Shape of the Sea"
Discover how geology shapes the diverse ocean communities.

Shinrin Yoku, or "Forest Bathing" Walk
Whether you call it forest bathing, hiking with mindfulness, forest therapy, nature therapy, or the Japanese phrase, "shinrin yoku," come join a ranger on a walk up the Mt. Wittenberg trail where we will immerse ourselves in the mixed Douglas fir forest. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Bear Valley Visitor Center. Be prepared for a one hour walk with some moderate elevation gain as we ascend a portion of the Mt. Wittenberg trail.

"Tule Elk" ranger talk
Come hear the incredible story of extirpation and return of the tule elk at Point Reyes.

"Where Have All the Fishes Gone" SOS program
Global climate change, a century of over-fishing, and plastics washing into the ocean have led to declines in fish populations, the bleaching of coral reefs that act as fish nurseries, and the slowing of ocean upwelling that makes the waters nutrient rich. Learn more by coming to hear about "Where Have All The Fishes Gone?"

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Bear Valley Visitor Center (unless otherwise noted) | Map

1:30 PM

Fee Information:

Contact Name:
Bear Valley Visitor Center

Contact Email:
e-mail us

Contact Phone Number:
415-464-5100 x2 x5

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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