Redwoods and Waterfalls Cycling in Big Basin © Michael Wetter

Outdoor Tours For Everyone ~ Experience the Nature of California ~ Ecology & History ~ Kids Always Half Price

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What really goes in the blue bin
--and what doesn't
Deepen your outdoor experience
--Use a topo map and compass

Browse photos of a coming tour
--or of the tour you just took

Movie: Monumental: David Brower's Fight for Wild America
--Chronicles the life and times of David Brower, the Sierra Club's legendary first Executive Director.
--An avid mountain climber, he led campaigns to protect national parks and other wildlands in the 1950s through the 1990s.
-- He inspired millions of Americans to become environmentalists!

Book: California's Wild Gardens: A Living Legacy
--From the California Native Plant Society (
--If you lived to be 100 and hiked every day throughout California, you couldn't see as many species of wildflowers and different habitats as in this beautiful book. A biodiversity feast for the eyes!

Music: Beethoven's 6th Symphony, the Pastoral
--By Ludwig von Beethoven
--Portions of this symphony, composed two centuries ago, provide the soundtrack for parts of Walt Disney's animated 1940 film, Fantasia. Whether you've seen it or not, hear the entire masterpiece that paints a peaceful rural landscape in music, as a storm moves over it.

Summer in the San Francisco Bay Area means lower temperatures at the coast and hot temperatures inland. Always carry water, and dress in layers, because the day can warm up, then cool off again before sunset. It can be 60 degrees F., windy, and cool on the Golden Gate Bridge at the same time it's 97 degrees F., hot, and no wind at Mount Diablo, just 30 miles inland!

Not sure which tour is right for you? Special event coming up? A topic you're especially interested in?

Let us create a tour just for you!
Learn more today.

Back in 1875 logger William Waddell became the San Francisco Bay Area's last man to be killed by a grizzly bear. You can retrace his final steps along the waterway named after him, Waddell Creek, on our Redwoods and Waterfalls Walking (or mountain bike) Tour.

No worries about marauding grizzlies, though -- the Bay Area's last grizzly was shot at Bonny Doon Mountain, only a few miles away from Waddell Creek, in 1886. The grizzly is California's official state animal, seen on the state flag, but it's been extinct in California since the 1920s!

Waddell Creek is also a great place for an easy 2-day backpack trip in the redwoods -- only three miles each way, and no uphill. If you're interested, let us know when you'd like to go.
  San Francisco Tours, Sonoma Napa Wine Tours, California Outdoor Adventure, California Nature Tours

California Nature Tours for Outdoor Adventure

Fun and flexible tours near San Francisco and California with 5th generation San Franciscan David D. Schmidt an expert in local Eco-History. One-day or multi-day. Kids always half price!

Custom tours a specialty!

"Eco-History" on Top Tours, Topics, Activities

All tours full of "Eco-History", the fascinating blend of ecology and human history that explains how people and the environment have interacted for centuries. Eco-History makes even a familiar place suddenly more special.

Not just for out of town visitors!
See our insightful blog and selection of local resources.

Browse California Nature Tours 2010 schedule text view below, or
All California Tours Photos thumbnails view, or
Favorite tour categories at left (also in photo thumbnails)

California Nature Tours 2010 Schedule
Or California Nature Tours Photos thumbnails

San Francisco Birds Ocean Beach Walk
Endangered Western Snowy Plover bird
6yrs 3m/5k
$39 USD
Whales, Seals, Deer and Elk of Pt. Reyes
Wildlife of Point Reyes National Seashore
7yrs 2m/3k
$79 USD
Habitat Restoration
Plant seedlings for the frogs and snakes
6yrs 1m/1.5k
Ohlone Indians San Bruno Mtn Walk
Indian Village on San Bruno Mtn
7yrs 4m/6k
$59 USD
Marin Waterfalls and Orchids Hike
12+ spring waterfalls, orchids
11yrs 6m/10k
$59 USD
Old Mine Ghost Town at Almaden Walk
Richest CA mine Almaden Quicksilver
10yrs 6m/8k
$59 USD
San Francisco Wildflowers Hike
Blooms, butterflies on San Bruno Mtn
7yrs 4m/7k
$59 USD
Sweeney Ridge Cycling
Pristine watershed, Bay discovery site
14yrs 15m/25k
$59 USD
Mount Diablo Wildflower Walk
Spring wildflowers, huge meadows
7yrs 5m/8k
$59 USD
Redwoods and Waterfalls Cycling
Big Basin's 3 astounding waterfalls
14yrs 11m/18k
$59 USD
Palo Alto Valley from the Ridge Hike
Rocky ridge, old oaks, valley view
11yrs 8m/13k
$59 USD
S.F. South Bay Backcountry Hike
Coe State Park, flowers, 2007 wildfire
12yrs 9m/14k
$59 USD
Big Basin Redwoods Easy Backpack
Good intro to backpacking on creek
12yrs 6m/10k
$99 USD
Big Sur Monterey Car Camping + Hike
Hike, camp, plus Monterey Acquarium
7yrs 30m/48k
$369 USD
Coastal Wilderness Pt. Reyes Backpack
Camp and hike on wild gentle coast
12yrs 35m/56k
$289 USD
Pt. Reyes Lakes Waterfalls Views Hike
Swim in deep idyllic lake, waterfall
10yrs 7m/11k
$69 USD
San Francisco Coastal Defense Walk
Ocean views, forts, missile base
6yrs 2m/3k
$59 USD
Point Reyes Car Camping + Hike
See Tule elk, and visit a dairy
8yrs 20m/32k
$249 USD
Marin Headlands Hosteling + Hike
Easy hiking and fun night at hostel
12yrs 15m/24k
$99 USD
Muir Woods to Stinson Beach Hike
Deep forest to beach; locals' fave
14yrs 9m/14k
$59 USD
Yosemite Tahoe Ghost Town Van + Walk
Yosemite, Ghost town, ancient trees
10yrs 30m/48k
$1995 USD
Sonoma Napa Wine History Van + Walk
Historic winery, Jack London's Ranch
7yrs 2m/3k
$99 USD
San Francisco Hike Golden Gate Coast
New Presidio trail to dramatic Land's End
10yrs 4m/5k
$39 USD
Organic Farms Artisan Foods Van Tour
Where the good stuff comes from
14yrs 1m/1.5k
$99 USD
Redwood Creek Meditation Walk
Peaceful stream walk Muir Woods
7yrs 3m/5k
$59 USD

California Nature Tours Photos thumbnails view
Or, Favorite categories at left, also in photo thumbnails.

Thumbnail view includes all our tours above, including nature tours and outdoor adventures, outdoor adventures, Tahoe tours, Yosemite tours, Sonoma Napa tours. San Francisco tours to Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods, Marin, Point Reyes, Big Basin, and Monterey Big Sur. Topical tours on wine, gold country ghost towns, redwoods, birding, organic farms, wildflowers, and Native American and Hispanic history. Activities including: walking, hiking, backpacking, car camping, and cycling.

Below are the top six tours.
1. Find your tour
2. Request dates you like
3. Discuss your needs with us
4. Pay securely online at PayPal
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Custom Tours for You
Though "standard" tours are great, make one perfect for you!
Tours, events, photos, tips, books...
Help friends have a great time, too.
Action Alert
Keep the Bay Area Beautiful, join Greenbelt Alliance!

If you live in California, join the Greenbelt Alliance. Since 1958, Greenbelt Alliance has been helping citizen groups all around the San Francisco Bay Area to limit sprawl developments and promote liveable, walkable cities. The Bay Area didn't have to be this way. It could have gone the way of Los Angeles. But thanks to the Greenbelt Alliance and its local partners, the Bay Area's hills (and some of its valleys) are still green.

The redwoods were AMAZING! . . . a truly magical experience . . . I felt transported to another world, every step
yielding amazing sights, and
David has so much knowledge
about the flora and fauna
as well as local and national history . . .
I highly recommend David's unique personalised tours . . .
You'll remember it always, I know I will!
Kim H.
Manchester, England

I was thrilled to find
California Nature Tours--
a San Francisco Bay treasure!
My tours to Muir Woods and
Point Reyes National Seashore
were relaxing, educational, and just magnificent.
I highly recommend David Schmidt and California Nature Tours.
You will come away feeling great and knowing you have seen California through the eyes of someone extraordinary.
You will love it!
Ms. G. K.
Washington, D.C.

We really loved your wildflower tour, it was
Beth M., Australia

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
John Muir

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
John Muir