Day Trips, Health & Wellness

Wilderness Hiking and Native Plants | SOLD OUT

James Wapotich
See description
May 6, 2023
9:00AM - 1:00PM

The Santa Barbara Region is home to a rich variety of both trails and habitats. Through this series of immersive classes you will learn the basic skills and awareness to explore our backcountry trails; learn about the native plants found on our trails; and deepen your connection to the natural world. Each class takes place on one of our local trails and is a mix of hands on instruction, immersive exercises, and sharing circles that allow for learning on many levels.

Participants must be able to comfortably hike 2-3 miles. For these hikes participants will need to bring water (1-2 liters), a notebook and pen, and any snacks you may want, as well as a daypack to carry it all. You’re also welcome to bring a camera. It is recommended that guests wear long pants, hiking shoes, a hat, and bring an extra layer of clothing (to be prepared for cooler weather). If you’re sensitive to the sun, remember to bring sunscreen as some trails are less shaded than others. For each class participants will be sitting on the ground for a portion of the time – feel free to bring something lightweight to sit on, like a pad or extra layer.

Before each class meeting participants will receive directions to the trailhead, a scouting report of the trail conditions, and a list of any specific items to bring.

If you have questions about the classes, or need assistance with registration, please contact the registrar: registrations@sbbotanicgarden.org or 805-682-4726, ext. 102

Dates, times and locations:

April 15, 9AM-1PM: Reading the Landscape – Santa Ynez Mountains:

Learn how to orient yourself to the local landscape, read the topography, and create your own mental maps of the backcountry without the use of a GPS or compass. See how habitats and plant communities are organized on the landscape, and learn how to remove the word lost from your vocabulary.

April 22, 9AM-1PM: Nature Connection – Santa Barbara front country:

Venturing out onto the land is even more rewarding when we take the time to develop a meaningful connection with nature. Learn how to feel more at home out on the trails and in the wilderness by being able to recognize plants every hiker should know. We will explore riparian and chaparral habitats, the plants that live there, and some of their edible and medicinal properties.

April 29, 9AM-1PM: A Garden of Resources – Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:

This hike with be at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. We will visit some of the plants seen on the previous hikes, as well as plants that we would need to hike a dozen or more different trails to see! Essentially a living natural history guide, the Garden provides a rich opportunity to see and learn about a variety of California native plants, including those out on the Channel Islands, all on a single hike.

May 6, 9AM-1PM: Listening to Nature – Santa Ynez Valley:

As we start to feel at home in nature, the land itself can become a source of guidance and inspiration. By working with plants, habitats, and the landscape, and tuning into our senses we can begin to see nature as ally and lay the foundation for being able to know the backcountry like the back of our hand.

Pricing for a series of 4 classes:

Garden Members: $100

General Public: $125

About James Wapotich:

James Wapotich is a trail guide, UC Certified California Naturalist, Volunteer Wilderness Ranger with Los Padres National Forest, and author of the Santa Barbara News-Press hiking column, Trail Quest. He leads workshops on backpacking, wilderness awareness skills, and mindfulness in nature.

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