Public Hikes

group goes on a hike

The public is invited to join Sedgwick docents for interpretive hikes on the Reserve.  A range of hikes (easy, moderate and strenuous) take visitors to see and learn about Sedgwick’s unique geological and ecological wonders.

After trekking, hikers can enjoy picnicking and bocce ball near the Ranch House. Instead of trekking, visitors are welcome to set up an art easel at the pond or bird watch around the Field Station. The gates will be open from 8am-2pm on public hike days.

The public hikes are offered on the second Saturday of every month from fall to late spring, weather permitting. Roads on the Reserve are impassible after .25” of rain and we avoid hiking during fire season and the Valley’s summer heat!

General Information about the Public Hikes

Choose a hike that is appropriate for you. Four docent-led hikes are run simultaneously:

  • An easy, short distance hike with lots of interpretation (wheelchair/stroller accessible for those with mobility challenges)
  • Two moderate 3 – 5 mile hikes with interpretation and mild elevation changes.
  • A more strenuous 4 – 6 mile hike with the least interpretation and with moderate elevation changes.

Topographic maps are available for each of the hikes during registration. The map will show the proposed trail and give distance and elevation climb. If you find you’d like to go on a different hike than what you registered for, please feel free to change your mind.


  • Please register in advance either via the internet or by calling (805) 686-1941 x3
  • Hike organization begins at 8:30 on the steps of the Tipton Meeting House.
             - You will be asked to sign a University of California Waiver of Liability,
                Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement;
              - A suggested donation of $10.00 per hiker in support of the public
                hiking program is greatly appreciated.
  • Hikes start promptly at 9:00 a.m., and will end at approximately 12 noon
  • Most trailheads require a 2 mile drive on unpaved roads with moderate ground clearance.
  • Please email us at sedgwick@lifesci.ucsb.edu for groups of 10 or more. 

Dress appropriately

  • Sturdy walking or hiking shoes are recommended. Tennis shoes are permitted, sandals are not
  • Long pants and long sleeves are recommended (we do have ticks!)
  • Wear a hat & apply sunscreen
  • Bring plenty of water and a trail snack

Cancellation policy

  • Hikes will NOT take place in or following periods of rain. If you are unsure of the weather, we will leave a message on the Reserve’s answering machine (805) 686-1941 advising of any cancellation.

Pet policy

  • Please leave your dog at home. They are not allowed on the trails and the parking area is not shaded.