Programs for Schools

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers schools a unique opportunity to study the natural history of the Central California coast. The Reserve was set aside for the preservation of its natural values in 1933. The natural conditions of Point Lobos make it necessary for teachers to provide close supervision of their students at all times.

Point Lobos offers a number of learning opportunities for school field trips, which are summarized on this page.  Any questions you may have should be directed to Melissa Gobell at melissa.gobell@parks.ca.gov or 831-625-1470.  Entrance fees are waived for school groups conforming to these instructions and abiding by Point Lobos rules.

General Information for Teachers

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is able to accommodate up to 120 students per day and two school groups. The Reservation Request form must be approved by the principal of the school. School groups must be accompanied at all times while in the Reserve by enough school-appointed adult escorts or teachers to maintain order. The expectations for these adults are laid out in Guidelines for ChaperonesGuidelines in Spanish. Please print these out and give them to each chaperone.  

All school buses and private vehicles bringing students to Point Lobos are to park only in the Piney Woods picnic area, unless other arrangements have been made. School buses should not leave their parking spaces, as other visitors may park their vehicles in the area designated for buses. Only one bus is allowed inside the Reserve at any time. Buses and other vehicles over 20 feet in length are not permitted on weekends, holidays or during the summer months. 

The Point Lobos website contains a wealth of information that may be helpful to you in planning your visit, including the following:

Self-Guided Tours

Reservations must be received at least 15 days in advance of the requested date of your visit. A ratio of at least one adult for every ten students is required, although having more adults accompany your class would allow for smaller student groups and a more enriching experience. Self-guided groups will have to lead their own nature walks and still adhere to the rules and safety procedures.

Docent-led Tours

Groups may request to have a Docent-led tour. However, due to the narrow trails and scheduling limitations, we can usually only provide enough walk leaders to accommodate up to 60 students at a time. Requests for guided walks must be submitted at least four weeks prior to your anticipated visit. Requests are processed according to the date received. Guided walks should be seen as shared experiences. Each group will explore different areas. Guided walks are available only Monday through Friday and only during the regular school year. 

One of the school walk docent leaders acts as a “greeter”, who meets the lead teacher when students arrive at Point Lobos, to work out final details for the walk. This includes the number of groups (one per walk leader) and the time the leaders will be asked to return the student group back to Piney Woods. The greeter may contact the teacher before the day of the field trip to facilitate communication.

Confirmation of your scheduled field trip day will be sent by mail. No commitments or confirmations are made over the telephone. We work with our volunteers to schedule nature walks approximately three weeks prior to a visit. It is impossible to schedule any further in advance. As soon as we know we can provide this service, you will receive written confirmation.