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Visiting the Preserve


Thank you for your interest in visiting Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. We encourage all guests to learn more about our mission and our history prior to visiting.

Please also familiarize yourself with:

All visitors on our trails must sign our indemnity waiver. Hard copies are available in our field station. 

"To be signed by any person (or parent/guardian of if applicant is a minor) who is not a registered student or current employee of Stanford University who wishes to enter Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (“Jasper Ridge”)."

Groups with guests under the age of 18 should indicate this in their request, and all visitors must be aged 14 years or older. The staff member who responds to your request will inform you of our policies.

We are unfortunately unable to welcome pets at Jasper Ridge.



We thank you for your patience in awaiting our response. When there is a high volume of requests, it may take two weeks or longer to hear from us.

Our natural history and ecology focused tours are led by trained docents that volunteer their time to contribute to the mission of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Because we depend on their availability to find the best match for your tour, we ask that requests be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of the desired date.

We offer public tours from October 01 - May 31. Tours are scheduled on a rolling basis and are dependent on availability between research and academic work the preserve.

Serpentine wildflowers blooming at Jasper Ridge


We offer public tours from October 01 – May 31. We close during Stanford University holidays.

Tours last 2.0 hours. All public tours are led by a trained Jasper Ridge docent.

We ask that you have at least 3 and up to 8 guests in your group. Groups larger than 8 should indicate this in the contact form, and our staff will inform you of what is possible.

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a Stanford University field station whose mission is research and education about natural systems. In that context, we offer public walking tours to those who would like to learn about what we do. Tours introduce the public to the natural history of the Santa Cruz Mountains and to the research at the preserve. Our docents have wide-reaching, and diverse areas of expertise, and no two tours are the same.

Hikes are at a relaxed pace but can be strenuous and on rugged terrain. Please notify us if there are physical limitations in your group, and we will do our very best to accommodate. To protect our biodiversity and research projects, we ask that no food be consumed on our trails. Please store food in your vehicle.

See below for information on getting to Jasper Ridge:

  • Driving directions to Jasper Ridge are provided in advance of your tour. We are a 20-minute car ride from Stanford University’s main campus.
  • There is no public transportation to Jasper Ridge.
  • If arriving by rideshare, we ask that you are dropped off at our main gate. Rideshares are not permitted on the interior of the preserve.
  • We have a bicycle rack on site, though the ride is uphill from campus, taking around 30 – 45-minutes, and on a road with fast moving traffic. Please proceed with caution should you decide to arrive by bicycle.
  • We ask groups to carpool whenever possible.

When contacting us, provide as much information as you can on you, your group, and your interests!




For an academic or class tour, please use our class visit form rather than our general contact form. We ask that class visits submit requests at least 6 weeks in advance:

For more information on academic visits, please explore our education page:



We always do our very best to accommodate those interested in visiting Jasper Ridge, but we are a small team, and are unfortunately unable to welcome all groups to our preserve. As such, we may suggest that you explore the following alternative parks and open spaces as a better fit for your group’s next outdoor adventure.

  • Stanford Campus Nature Walk

A self-guided podcast tour of plants, animals, and science art on the main Stanford Campus. Click here to start.

  • Huddart Park

Nearby Huddart Park, operated by the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Division, is a great place for picnics and retreats and has many of the same vegetation communities as Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

See the following link for more information:

  • Edgewood Park

Edgewood Park, also operated by the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Division, provides wildflower walks and bird walks led by members of the Friends of Edgewood Park.

See the following link for more information:

Reservations are not required for groups of less than 10 for these walks.

  • MidPen Preserves

MidPen preserves are open to the public daily and free of charge, with many miles of trails.

See the following link for more information:

  • California State Parks

The state of California is home to around 280 parks and open spaces, containing some of the largest and most diverse natural and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the United States.

See the following link for more information:



We are primarily an outdoor classroom and laboratory. When there are openings on our calendar, portions of the Leslie Shao-Ming Sun Field Station may be available to Stanford-affiliated groups for small workshops, meetings, or events related to our academic and conservation mission.

Our maximum capacity is 50 people. Due to staffing and scheduling constraints we can only accommodate a limited number of these requests, and a fee is charged to cover our expenses.

If you are interested in using our facilities, please contact us using our webform and select the ‘retreat’ option from the drop-down menu.

The Jasper Ridge staff member who responds to your form will assist in generating a quote for facilities fees and can respond to any questions you may have about our rooms and offerings.

When we have calendar openings and sufficient staff support, meetings and retreats are typically accommodated normal working days. Requests for after-hours events are not always able to be accommodated and should be submitted with ample lead time.



Docents may use their access cards to visit the preserve (and field station) during daylight hours on any day of the week.

Docents are encouraged to take refresher tours as needed and are welcome to share our preserve with those in their lives. All Jasper Ridge policies extend to self-organized tours. Please see below for more information on these kinds of visits.

Refresher tours do not require the submission of a contact form. Always bring at least one buddy when on the trails, and use the paper registers to record your routes. Refresher tours should include only Jasper Ridge docents.

All other self-organized tours must be arranged using the contact us webform.

For groups of 8 or fewer, containing only guests over the age of 18, there is no response needed from a Jasper Ridge staff member in advance of your desired date.

For groups larger than 8, and/or with guests under the age of 18, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian, a written response with approval from a Jasper Ridge staff member is required in advance of your walk. Several weeks of lead is greatly appreciated!  

For other special circumstances, please inquire with Jasper Ridge staff.

Always check the affiliate’s calendar to ensure there are not too many other groups out during your desired time!