General Guidelines for Visitors
Reservations are not required for docent- or staff-led hikes, unless otherwise stated. All activities are free. To get the most out of your experience, it’s helpful to follow these guidelines:
Wear suitable clothing. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. A cool morning can quickly turn into a hot afternoon. Wearing layers helps you adapt to changing temperatures. Sturdy shoes make navigating the trails easier and more comfortable.
Bring sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent. If your hike has a special theme such as wildflowers or birds, bring a magnifying glass, binoculars, field guide, small notebook or camera to help you study and record what you see.
Carry water. There is no drinkable water on the preserves. Also, consider bringing snacks or a lunch if you will be on the trail for several hours. A small daypack lets you carry what you need and keep your hands free.
Plan to arrive at the meeting place a few minutes early. Most activities are scheduled at Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve and leave from the staging area on Casa Loma Road. There is adequate parking and a restroom but no water or telephone and cell phone coverage is spotty. Do not plan to leave valuables in your parked car while you’re on the trail.
Choose a hike or activity that suits your interests and capabilities.
Most of all, expect to have a great time.