Skylark Ranch

Skylark Ranch
This area provides endless opportunities for outdoor science, hiking, and challenge course activities. Located just south of Pescadero, Camp Skylark spans 280 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the beautiful California coast.

The camp features a high and low ropes course, an indoor dining hall with commercial kitchen, large modern shower/bathroom facility, central group fire circle, meadow, archery range, extensive hiking trails through diverse ecological habitats with access to Big Basin State Park. Skylark offers a peaceful outdoor retreat with basic comforts. A variety of programs can be put together at this superior site. Students can do the ropes course in addition to environmental education and many off-site optional activities.

Educational Overview

Naturalists at Large’s experience has been that the students’ participation in the process of learning and living together provides the basic framework for a successful outdoor program. The program will emphasize outdoor skills, along with an introduction to the various environments of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Naturalists at Large takes responsibility for evening activities.

Naturalists at Large instructors work with their groups to teach basic outdoor skills and conduct outdoor education activities on local trails. Students are constantly encouraged to solve problems posed by the Naturalists at Large instructors, comprised of both intellectual problems and well thought-out and well executed physical problems (i.e. initiative activities). Each trail group is with a Naturalists at Large naturalist-instructor, and a faculty or parent chaperon each day for the entire program.

Activities can include:

• Natural History Hikes
• Study of human impact on the surrounding forest
• Challenge/ropes course, initiatives, group activities
• Coastal range natural history, group and individual challenges
• Introduction to environmental science concepts
• Use of playing fields


• Farming at Green Oaks Creek Farm
• Kayaking at Elkhorn Slough
• Año Nuevo State Park – home of the Elephant Seals
• Tidepooling at Bean Hollow State Beach