Nature Cruises

Let our Park Naturalists guide you on a 2-hour Lake Cruise aboard the Osprey. A 30-passenger pontoon boat for easy wildlife viewing and personal comfort, the Osprey explores the Lake as Naturalists follow nature's serendipity to reveal the area's natural and cultural riches. In all seasons, Cachuma Lake is a thriving habitat for a great variety of wildlife, birds, fish, trees, and plants. Our winter season often brings out resident and migratory Bald Eagles and waterfowl from November through February. In spring and summer, wildflowers spangle the hills, resident birds can be seen displaying and building nests, and fawns appear with does.

Who would enjoy our cruise?

The tour is appropriate for all people ages 5 and up. Our boat can comfortably accommodate visitors who use walking aids, and we have a walk-on ramp (please let us know so we may assist you). Wheel chairs: During this time of drought and low lake, we cannot accommodate wheel chairs, as the access ramp for wheel chairs can only be used at higher lake levels. We will post updates as soon as we are able.

About the Osprey:

Pontoon boats are among the gentlest and safest water vessels. All 30 seats are padded swivel seats, and wildlife viewing is easy from any seat. There are viewing platforms at the front and rear of the boat. Most of the seats are shaded.

Cruise Fees:

Adults $15 
Kids $10 (ages 5-12 year old; please no children under 5)

Cruise Reservations:

RESERVATIONS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED in person at the main gate, or call: 
(805) 568-2460 Weekdays 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM 
(805) 686-5055 After 3:00 PM on Fridays and Weekends 
Meet at the Marina CRUISE WAITING AREA 1/2 hour before departure. The boat departs promptly on the hour.

Cruise Schedules*

Public Cruises:

Winter Wildlife Cruises 

November through February
Morning Afternoon
Friday 10 am to Noon 2 pm to 4 pm
Saturday 10 am to Noon 2 pm to 4 pm
Sunday 10 am to noon

Summer Wildlife Cruises

March through October
Morning Afternoon
Friday 3 pm to 5 pm
Saturday 10 am to Noon 3 pm to 5 pm
Sunday 10 am to Noon

*All cruises are canceled on Christmas Day


Private Cruises:

Lake cruises outside of the public cruise times posted above can be arranged for your school, community, or personal group for a minimum of 15 people on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. For more information, please call the Park Naturalist at (805) 688-4515.