Nature Cruises


Let our Park Naturalists guide you on a 2-hour Lake Cruise aboard the Osprey. A 30-passenger pontoon boat for easy wildlife viewing and personal comfort, the Osprey explores the Lake as Naturalists follow nature's serendipity to reveal the area's natural and cultural riches. In all seasons, Cachuma Lake is a thriving habitat for a great variety of wildlife, birds, fish, trees, and plants. Our winter season often brings out resident and migratory bald eagles and waterfowl from November through February. In spring and summer, wildflowers spangle the hills, resident birds can be seen displaying and building nests, and fawns appear with does.

Who would enjoy our cruise?

The tour is appropriate for all people ages 5 and up. Our boat can comfortably accommodate visitors who use wheelchairs and other walking aids, and we have a walk-on ramp (please let us know in advance so we may assist you). 

About the Osprey:

Pontoon boats are among the gentlest and safest water vessels. All 30 seats are padded swivel seats, and wildlife viewing is easy from any seat. There are viewing platforms at the front and rear of the boat. Most of the seats are shaded.

Cruise Fees:

Adults $15 
Kids $10 (ages 5-12 year old; please no children under 5)

Cruise Reservations:

RESERVATIONS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED in person at the Main Gate, or call: 
(805) 568-2460 (Monday through Thursday) 
(805) 686-5055 (Friday through Saturday)              
Please arrive at Cachuma Lake Recreation Area 1/2 hour before departure time to allow for park entrance, parking and visiting the restroom. A Park Naturalist will greet passengers at the Marina Cruise Waiting Area about 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The boat departs promptly on the hour.

Cruise Schedules*

Public Cruises:

Eagle Cruises 

October through March
Morning Afternoon
2 pm to 4 pm
Saturday 10 am to Noon 2 pm to 4 pm
Sunday 10 am to Noon

Wildlife Cruises

April through September
Morning Afternoon
Friday 3 pm to 5 pm
Saturday 10 am to Noon 3 pm to 5 pm
Sunday 10 am to Noon

*All cruises are canceled on Christmas Day. Cruises are also subject to cancellation due to inclement weather and staffing.

Private Cruises:

Lake cruises outside of the public cruise times posted above can be arranged for your school, community, or personal group for a minimum of 15 people depending upon schedule and staffing availability. For more information, please call the Park Naturalist office at (805) 688-4515.