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Visiting the Preserve


Visitor Information

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NOTE: Due to the high volume of requests it can take a week or more for us to respond. Requests are answered in the order they are received.



  • Docents can use their access cards to visit the preserve ONLY during daylight hours and following the buddy system rule anytime they want to review for a tour, etc.  That is, these kinds of “docent refresher” visits (i.e., those that involve only a docent plus no more than two companions) can take place any day, not just on Sunday—no need to schedule them in advance. 

  • All tours other than refresher visits—even tours you might organize yourself—still have to be arranged in advance using the Contact Us webform.

  • You should continue to use the paper trail registers to record your “refresher” visits.



Public Tours

Jasper Ridge offers public docent-led tours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from October 1 through end of May. Request tours at least three weeks in advance using the JRBP Contact Us web formJasper Ridge is closed during Stanford University's Winter Closure and Holiday dates and public tours are always resumed after the 2nd weekend of classes

Please note that children under 14 are not allowed.

Jasper Ridge is a Stanford University field station whose mission is research and education about natural systems, and in that context we can accommodate a limited number of tours of guests who would like learn about what we do.  All tours are docent-led and must be requested through our Contact Us web form.  While we make every effort to respond as quickly as possible, due to the high volume of requests it can be a week or more from the time you submit your request until you receive a reply from us.  Therefore requests should be submitted at least three weeks before the date you would like a tour. All participants must remain on designated trails.

Jasper Ridge is about a 20-minute car ride from the main Stanford University campus. There is no public transportation from the campus to Jasper Ridge. It is a strenuous bike ride (mostly uphill) from the Stanford campus and usually takes between 30-45 minutes.

Due to limited parking, we ask groups to carpool whenever possible.

Touring Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

A tour is typically 2 to 2.5 hours (can be shorter if requested). Tours are designed to introduce the public to the natural history of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the research at the preserve. Hikes can be strenuous, so please indicate ahead of time if there are physical limitations in your group. Food is not allowed on the trails.

Contact Us to schedule a tour. NOTE: Due to the high volume of requests it can take a week or more for us to respond. Requests are answered in the order they are received.

Please provide the following information to help us book your tour:

  • Cell #: for use the day of the tour, if necessary.
  • Date and time you wish to take a tour. Please feel free to include other potential dates. 
  • Number of people in your group? Minimum 3-5 people. Please note each docent led group is limited to 8 people, with larger groups generally requiring additional docents. Each docent takes a different route. We can only host a maximum of 4 groups at the same time.
  • Please note children under 14 are not allowed. Requests to bring younger children must be brought to the Executive Director for approval prior to the tour. There must be special, mitigating circumstances for approval. Children under 14 are not allowed to cross the Searsville Dam. No pets are allowed on the preserve.
  • Will your group have special requests or mobility issues?

When your tour is booked a confirmation email with a small map of the area will be sent to the group organizer that can be distributed to tour group members.

The lead docent will call several days before your tour to exchange cell numbers, discuss your particular points of interest, and in case of inclement weather "go/no go" scenarios.

Thank you for your interest in Jasper Ridge.

Academic or class tours

For academic or class tour, please fill out this form:

Alternative Parks and Open Spaces

Stanford Campus nature walk

A self-guiding podcast tour of plants, animals, and science art on the 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.

Edgewood Park

Edgewood Park, also operated by the SMC Parks and Recreation Division, provides wildflower walks and bird walks led by members of the Friends of Edgewood Park ( Reservations are not required for groups of less than 10 people for these walks.

Meeting Venues at Jasper Ridge

JRBP is primarily an outdoor classroom and laboratory, combining trailside teaching for visitors together with long-term monitoring, fundamental science, and ecosystem preservation and restoration. When there are openings in the education and research calendar, portions of the Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station may be available to Stanford groups for small workshops, meetings, or events related to our academic and conservation mission. If your Stanford-affiliated organization is interested in using the facilities of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve as a venue for a meeting that would fit with our mission, please Contact Us. 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.