Mt Baldy Visitor Center Environmental Education Information

Mt. Baldy Visitor Center Building

Mt. Baldy Visitor Center
P.O. Box 592
Mt. Baldy, CA 91759
Phone (909) 982-2829 (visitor information)
(909) 982-2879 (education staff)
FAX: (909) 931-7130


Field Trips and School Programs
image of teepeeMt. Baldy Environmental Education offers a broad range of programming to regional educators, scouts, and civic groups. Our popular school programs, which have been developed in conjunction with California State Content Standards, accommodate nearly 8,000 students and teachers each year. Field trips are unique hands-on adventures in the Angeles National Forest. For program information, or to schedule at Mt. Baldy or at your school site call the education staff at (909) 982-2879. The fee for field trips at Mt. Baldy is $8.00 per student.

Visitor Services
Located within the Angeles National Forest in scenic Mt. Baldy Village, the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center lies 10 miles north of Claremont. This award-winning interpretive center is a historic 1920's schoolhouse which has been renovated to include an indoor nature trail, local history room, and gift shop. On site are the Mt. Baldy Environmental Education classroom, a native animal room, reproductions of a gold-mining camp and Native-American (Tongva-Gabrielino) village, as well as picnic tables and restrooms. The Visitor Center is a U.S.D.A. Forest Service facility. For information call (909) 982-2829.

Mission Statement
Working with educators, in conjunction with California State curriculum guidelines, the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center Environmental Education Program seeks to provide a living laboratory where instruction in natural science, local habitats, and cultural history is enhanced and comes alive. 

A Few Helpful Hints:
Grade levels for specific programs are only recommendations. We will work with you to develop curriculum relevant to the needs of your students.

Programs can be tailored to fit into your time schedule.
Please make sure you schedule time for lunch/snack if applicable. If your students wish to shop for souvenirs in our "kid friendly" store, (the proceeds are used to support these programs) be sure to allow extra time in your schedule.

Payment for your programs is due the day of your scheduled activity ($8.00 per participant).  While no minimum or maximum adult to student ratio is required at Mt. Baldy, we ask teachers to please remind their parent and school participants that respectful and polite classroom behavior is expected of all attendees.



image of a basket on a straw benchMeet Your Neighbors - Pre-school through 1st grade We'll give your group a hands-on introduction to the plants and animals living in the foothills and mountains in your backyard. Tour the award-winning Mt. Baldy Visitor Center indoor nature trail. Paint animal tracks to take home, and meet the local live animals up close in our animal room. Join us for a lunch under the pines for a meandering adventure along a babbling mountain stream.


Circles of Life - 2nd grade
Let us help teach the wonders of growth, development, and relationship by introducing your students to some very fascinating animals and insects. You will meet the reptiles in our animal room, make an animal track, and top off your trip with a walk to the shaded edge of San Antonio Creek.

Habitat in Art - 3rd grade
This program offers the joy and excitement of combining the worlds of art and nature. Students will design nature journals, then fill them with an assortment of artistic creations. They will make rubbings, and record observations keyed into four San Gabriel Mt. Habitats during a nature walk. (Student journals offer a nice addition to your room's "Back to School" night).

Gold Fever - 4th and 5th grades
Relive the exciting period in California history by touring the cultural display in the Mt. Baldy Visitor Center. Tighten up your bonnets and suspenders as we venture outside to reenact an 1800's gold rush play. You are the pioneers and we are heading west to join the rush for gold. Experience the thrill of panning for "color" in our sluice.

World of the Tongva (Gabrielino) - 3rd through 5th grade
How did the Native Americans living in southern California spend their seasons? Where did they live? What did they eat? Did they play games? Answer these questions by visiting a reproduction of one of their dwellings. Students are introduced to the Tongva culture by grinding acorns, creating rock art, playing games and making tools.

Along the Trail - 4th through high school
The mountains come alive on a trip through historic Icehouse Canyon. Explore native plants and animals, geology, and local history along the way. It's a "pack it in, pack it out" adventure, with each student carrying their pack, walking beside the stream, and eating lunch under the incense cedars.

Water Ecology - 4th through 8th grades
Help us investigate the health of a mountain stream from a rainbow trout's point of view. This includes testing for four water-quality parameters, and sampling aquatic indicator (insect) species. A great way to reinforce the scientific method and experience hands-on science at its best.

That's Not Just a Rock!!! - 6th grade
Take a hike! Discover why the mountains are growing, and why rocks are for more than throwing. Put a sample from our compost pile under the microscope to observe decomposition in action. Students will assemble a nine-piece rock collection containing some local and "not so local" rocks. They'll discover fun ways to learn the basics of local geology and why they should appreciate "that" rock.

Field Investigations - 6th through 8th grades
Follow us into the Angeles National Forest where in small groups your students will engage in a field study. Observation, identification, and field research will be our emphasis as we identify and study vegetation and the primary habitats (chaparral, riparian, pine forest, and sub alpine) of the San Gabriel Mountains.  High School Environmental Studies

Water Field Lab
Utilizing CBL (Calculator Based Laboratory) technology, we'll test the quality of San Antonio Creek, and measure stream flow and turbidity. Opportunities for macro-aquatic insect survey and micro-aquatic organism sampling (utilizing microscope and flex cam) are also available.

A hands-on field adventure exploring the geological principles involved in the formation of the San Gabriel Mts. Plate tectonics, fault, displacement, dike, sill, intrusion, slide . . . become more than abstract concepts in this rambling excursion into the mountains.

Chaparral Studies
A program that takes advantage of this unique southern California habitat. We'll borrow tools from the professional botanist, and in small study groups run line transects to perform quadrat studies, sampling for species diversity, biomass, and other parameters.

Other Opportunities from Mt. Baldy
Can't make the trip to the mountains, or need an engaging speaker for your classroom or school assembly? Mt. Baldy will bring its teachers, grade-specific curriculum and live animals to your school to provide the next best thing to being in the forest. For details and pricing on our Forest in a Box, program series call the Visitor Center.

Scout Badge Requirements and Outings
Work on requirements for your scout badges in the beauty of the mountains. Mt. Baldy Visitor Center is an ideal place for a safe and educational after-school outing for your troop. We'll help you with your Forestry, Conservation, Geology, Naturalist and other badges. Travel to your meeting place can also be arranged.