Field Trips

Field trips are typically held on Saturday and/or Sunday. Watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements. Meanwhile we invite you to explore the many trails open in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Hit the trails early during the summer months and keep cool and hydrated!

Botany Hike in Arroyo Hondo, Santa Barbara County
14900 Calle Real, Goleta (Highway 101)
Saturday, June 1, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Leader: Kate Symonds
Plant List

The 782-acre Arroyo Hondo Preserve is located in Santa Barbara County on the Gaviota Coast between Refugio State Beach and Gaviota State Park.  It is owned and managed by the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.  Nestled in the folds of this rugged landscape is a lush riparian area that is home to many plant and wildlife species.  There we may see Humboldt lilies (Lilium humboldtii subsp. ocellatum) and giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata), and will definitely see western sycamore (Platanus racemosa).  During October 2021, the Alisal Fire burned from the crest of the mountains down to the ocean in a few hours.  The Preserve is part of a watershed in which 93% burned.  Today, less than three years after the fire, new growth of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants is coming up everywhere, including toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), and sages (Salvia species).  Come learn about California fire ecology and some of the plants that we encounter.  We’ll take a fairly level 3-mile loop nature walk guided by Kate Symonds, a retired biologist who is also a docent for the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.  The event is $10 per person, to cover the donation to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County.

Sorry, no dogs allowed.

Reservations required: Call or text (805) 794-5334 to reserve a spot by 5/31/24.  That way, if there are any changes of the day or time of the hike due to rain or events, we can let you know.  The limit is 15 people.

Meeting Spot: Arroyo Hondo Preserve, through the gate at 14900 Calle Real, Goleta (Highway 101).  Please don’t be late.

Directions: Traveling northbound on the U.S. Highway 101, the Preserve is about a thirty minute drive from downtown Santa Barbara and approximately four miles past Refugio State Beach. After the Refugio exit, the entrance to Arroyo Hondo is one driveway past the Tajiguas Landfill at the bottom of the dip in the highway.  There is no exit lane so the turn-off is short.  Make an immediate right hand turn into the gated entrance.  Continue slowly through the open gate and down the hill a few hundred yards and veer right to cross a small bridge that leads to a gravel parking area, near a wooden barn.  We will meet in the Preserve parking area by the barn.   In the unlikely event the gate at Hwy 101 is closed, we will gather at the gate and then be guided in as a group.