Self-guided Program

K-12 Schools Naturalist Talk/Self-guided Program


The Naturalist Talk/Self Guided Program is a good choice for groups that want a short introduction to the Reserve before exploring the Reserve on their own.  All K-12 groups visiting the Reserve must attend a Naturalist Talk before hiking, both for their own safety and for the protection of the Reserve.

Topics available:

  1. General Intro to the Reserve and the Torrey pine
  2. Habitats
  3. Geology
  4. The Kumeyaay

Grades: K -12

Group size: no more than 70, split into groups of 12 or fewer on the trail; 20 or fewer in the museum at one time.

Program length: 20 minute introduction to the Reserve, plus hiking time, allow 1.5 hours

Days/Times offered: Monday and Wednesday mornings plus the third and fourth Friday mornings of the month, September–May.  This program is not available during summer months (June, July and August) due to high visitor volume.

Fees: Free to K-12 schools if request is made at least 3 weeks in advance. Donations to the Docent Society are appreciated and help keep programs available. Bus Grants are available for Title I elementary schools (Please click here for Bus Grant info). Approved groups will receive a pass at the entrance kiosk. If the kiosk is not staffed, you must contact staff at the Lodge/Ranger HQ, located in the Visitor Center to receive a vehicle pass for your dashboard. No photocopied passes will be accepted.

Preparation: Please review the Reserve regulations with all children. The information is listed on the main Educational Program page. No food is allowed in the upper Reserve area; plan to eat lunch at the picnic tables near the beach. See also the page on Resources. Trail packs with self-guided tours and class activities may be borrowed from the Visitor Center for use during your trip.

Booking Requirements: At least three weeks before your planned trip, complete a school group request form, signed by the school principal. Please click here for the request form (only for Sept-May). No telephone requests will be taken. You will be contacted to confirm the trip. Schools planning beach trips must also obtain a beach permit. Contact Reserve Staff by clicking here to send a mail request after the trip has been confirmed.

For questions/problems contact: