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Sedgwick Reserve | Walking Ecology and Public Hikes


Sedgwick Reserve is excited to offer TWO popular public events on January 12th! Visit our stunning 6,000 acre protected Reserve, normally closed to the public, by joining us for a guided morning hike with our learned docents and/or an informative midday lecture and nature walk with UCSB professor Bruce Tiffany. Come visit one of the crown jewels of the University of California’s 39-property Natural Reserve System! We are thrilled to announce the return of two of our most renowned public offerings. Space will fill up and pre-registration is required for both events; register now to confirm your spot!
Our popular Walking Ecology lecture series will commence at noon following the hikes (separate registration required). Join UCSB professor of paleobotany Bruce Tiffney on a journey through time and geologic imagination as he walks his audiences through the processes and events that created the landscape that is now the Santa Ynez Valley. We encourage attendees of the morning public hike to stay and experience this renowned lecture series which brings some of our area’s most charismatic and inspirational scientists to Sedgwick to share their knowledge both in the classroom and out in the field. Both the public hike and Walking Ecology lecture are by donation (suggested donation of $20/person, $10 for students). 

Guided Public Hikes

We are thrilled to announce the return of our popular public hiking days! Our learned docent guides will lead multiple levels of hikes to accommodate a diversity of abilities while offering insights into the unique geologic history, flora, and fauna of our spectacular Reserve. The Saturday, January 12th public hike day begins at 9am; hikes last two to three hours. In addition to the hikes, there will be an opportunity to see the newly-renovated century-old historic Sedgwick barn, our pond (home to numerous rare and special-status species, including the Western pond turtle and the tricolored blackbird), and the Tipton Meeting House. Hikers who will not attend the Walking Ecology lecture are welcome to bring a lunch and enjoy it in the shade of beautiful valley oaks at our Field Station picnic area. 

Hikes are by-donation; suggested donation is $20/person ($10 for students). Your support allows us to continue this offering!

In the event of rain hikes will be cancelled and registrants will be notified via email 24 hours in advance. 


Three levels of intensity are offered for the January hike day:

Easy Hike: Mesa Trail.  Approximately 1.5 hours and 1 mile with 400 feet of elevational gain. An easy stroll along the Mesa with a good share of interpretation and vistas.  Includes a long stair climb and a short down hill stretch, about two hours total. An optional tour of the restored Ranch House and the hundred year old barn, home of our Sedgwick Barn Owl. Appropriate for children and seniors.  Bring water and snacks. The easy hike is limited to the first 25 people who sign up.

Moderate Hike: Blue Schist Trail.  Approximately 2.35 miles with 630 feet of elevational gain. A moderately strenuous hike with two long grades to climb.  Moderate amount of interpretation by docents, beautiful vistas, wildflowers in season, the results of a dormant earthquake uplift to see, and interesting rock formations.  Almost three hours.  Our most popular hike. Bring water and snacks. The moderate hike is limited to the first 25 people who sign up. 

Strenuous Hike: Northeast Loop.  Approximately 5 miles with 1460 feet elevation change. An aerobic workout at the northern end of the Reserve.  Hills to climb and wonderful vistas and wildflowers in season.  Not much interpretation by docents and almost four hours long.  Bring water and snacks. The moderate hike is limited to the first 25 people who sign up. 


UCSB: Sedgwick Nature Preserve


3566 Brinkerhoff Ave., Santa Ynez, California 93460
3566 Brinkerhoff Ave., Santa Ynez, California 93460 United States Get Directions

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