School Field Trip Activities
Santa Barbara County Parks Division offers natural and cultural history field trip programs at Cachuma Lake for K - 6 students, and higher grade levels upon request. Programs are lead by County Park Naturalists and trained volunteers. Field trips typcially include a lake cruise, nature walk, and visit to the Neal Taylor Nature Center. Topics emphasized can be tailored to your class curriculum. Trips run year-round. See below for booking details.
30-Passenger pontoon boat. Life vests provided and worn at all times.
Visits focus on watersheds, the ecology of oak woodlands, savannah, and lake habitats. General emphasis touches on traditional Chumash lifeways, plant life, geology, wildlife observations, and resident and migratory birds, including Bald Eagles.
Length: 1.25 hours, with programs generally starting at 9:30 am.
Limit: Minimum 15*, maximum 90 people.
Cruise Fee: $5 for youth ages 4-12, $15 for adults.
Park Entry: $35/bus; $10/auto.
*Booking Requirement: Minimum of 15 people needed to make an exclusive Lake Cruise booking outside of general public cruise times— for small groups see “Wildlife and Eagle Cruises.”
The Nature Center is a dream-come-true for curious young naturalists, scientists, and archaeologists. It offers touch tables, intriguing exhibits, games, and hands-on activities. Students use all of their senses to learn about Chumash history, settler history, geology, birds, animals, plants, and more.
Length: ½ to 1 hour
Nature Center Fee: Free Admission
Park Entry: $35/bus; $10/auto
NOTE: Bookings for just the Nature Center are limited to 35 people or fewer.
This exploration takes us from a bird’s to an insect’s eye view of the oak savanna, oak woodland, chaparral and lakeside habitats, where we witness the intimacies of the web of life and emphasize adaptive abilities of organisms in our Mediterranean climate. Easily observed are quail, woodpeckers, lizards, birds and animal nests. We examine plants along the trail and those used historically by Chumash people.
Length: level 1/2 mile loop trail; easy pace at ½ to 1 hour
Nature Walk Fee: Free
Park Entry: $35/bus; $10/auto
Limit: No minimum group size requirement. Large groups are divided.
How To Schedule a Field Trip
Call the Naturalists’ Office at (805) 688-4515, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, Tuesday through Friday. Advance booking is best, however, short notice can sometimes work out.
Schedule a single activity or all three, depending on your time and needs.
We offer programs Tuesday through Friday.
Age Groups: Programs are tailored appropriately to age groups K - 6, and middle school.
Field trip length: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm when participating in all 3 activities.
Group size: We can accommodate up to 30 people on the cruise boat at one time. For larger groups, we can split the group into halves or thirds and rotate them between the cruise, the Nature Center, and the Nature Walk.
Adult to child ratio: 1 adult to 10 children
Entrance/Park Use Fee: $35/bus; $10/auto.