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Scorpion Ranch K-12 Education

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Scorpion Ranch, Santa Cruz Isl.and – Full Day Trip

Located on the east end of the largest island off the California Coast, Scorpion Ranch is a unique location to study science themes such as native and endemic organisms, introduced species, geology, and the marine environment. Scorpion Ranch has a long and interesting history of human activities including the site of one of the largest Chumash villages on the Channel Islands. Social science themes include the Chumash People, explorers, and the ranching period.

What makes this destination unique?

a close up of a hillsideEast Santa Cruz Island is rich with cultural history, and feels like a step back in time. Old ranch buildings still stand just off the main beach. One building has been converted into a Visitor’s Center. Prior to the ranching era, the Chumash people inhabited this same valley. There are archaeological sites as well as current activities that document their connection to this place they know as “Limuw.” As the largest island in California, there is great diversity in the geology and topography. Starting at the cobblestone beach, moving up to wave cut terraces, and continuing on to mountainous peaks. Besides the beautiful vistas that overlook the Santa Barbara Channel and all its rich marine diversity. The island is host to a very unique habitat of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. It is fairly common to see the endemic Santa Cruz Island Fox along the trails at Scorpion.

What will my students experience?

a group of people sitting at a beachThere is always an opportunity to see wildlife en-route to the islands. We definitely brake for whales and dolphins! Once ashore, students will have a lunch break and then take a guided hike with their naturalist. Our naturalists are trained on the unique natural and cultural resources found in Channel Islands National Park. Our naturalists have a large repertoire of activities to reinforce the information they present. Possible science themes include adaptation, habitats, native and endemic organisms, introduced species, research and restoration, marine ecology, and geology. Social science themes may include Native American inhabitants and explorers. All trips can be tailored to meet your curriculum goals and objectives.

What is the physical exertion involved?

a group of people walking down a dirt roadThe boat trip to Scorpion will take 1 hour. Arriving at Scorpion Ranch, be prepared to step from the boat to a ladder. You will climb 2-5 rungs to the pier. The distance of the hike is dependent upon the pace and skills of each group and can range from 2-4 miles. Trails will include an elevation change of 200-300 feet, including some steep rocky terrain. All trail combinations are rated “Moderate” by the Park Service.