Visitors, Educators, and Researchers are welcome at the Angelo Coast Range Reserve.


Public Access

The Reserve is open to public day use every day from sunrise to sunset on a walk-in-only basis for hiking and general natural history appreciation. No application or prior notification is required for casual day use but visitors are asked to sign in at the visitor kiosk near the science center and park in the day use parking lot 100 yards further up the road near the reserve gate. Trail guides are usually available at the visitor kiosk, or online here.  No pets, weapons, or unauthorized vehicles are allowed. Mountain bikes are allowed on the main reserve road only. Public visitors enter at their own risk.  Come prepared with water in the summer months and appropriate gear for the cold and wet winter months. We request that visitors stay on roads and well-marked trails, due to fragile landscapes including undercut, steep river banks; field experiments; and the high probability of getting lost in rough terrain and tall forest without many vantage points for overviews. No collecting of any kind is permitted. Please respect all researchers and research apparatus (equipment, flagging, marked experimental plots, etc.) by not disturbing them. Except for the bathrooms at the Science Center, the outhouses at the Angelo Home site, and the stand alone bathrooms at Fox Creek Lodge, the public should not enter any buildings. While boundaries are not always well marked, the public is asked to respect our neighbors and their private property.

Individual with special needs should make inquiries with the Reserve Manager well in advance of their visit.

Driving Directions

To get to the reserve take Hwy 101 north or south to Laytonville (about 3.5 hours north of the Bay Area, 3 hours south of Eureka, 4 hours from Sacramento via Interstate 5 to Hwy 20 to Hwy 101).  At Laytonville, turn west onto the Branscomb Rd. Travel about 13 miles to the former mill town of Branscomb. Continue another 3 miles and turn right (north) on Wilderness Lodge Rd.  Bear right at the only fork, staying on the paved road.  Wilderness Lodge Rd. will be paved the first 2+ miles, turning to gravel just after you cross the Eel River.  Continue another 1.4 miles to the Headquarters living complex (right, east side) and the Environmental Science center (left side) of the Angelo Reserve.

If you are traveling from the coast take Hwy 1 to Branscomb Rd. (20 miles n. of Ft. Bragg) and go east. Travel just under 10 miles to Wilderness Lodge Rd. (there is no road sign visible when traveling east so watch your odometer) and turn left and follow the directions above from that point.

Please keep your speed down (20 mph or less) while on Wilderness Lodge Rd. It is a non-standard, narrow and twisty road with blind curves and uneven surfaces with little or no shoulder. On the gravel portion of the road higher speeds result in more noise and dust, and less control if you should encounter pedestrians or an oncoming vehicle.

As you arrive at the Reserve the Science Center will be on your left where there is a small visitor kiosk for signing in. Headquarters House will be on your right. Day use parking for public use visitors is about 100 yards beyond the Science Center just before the reserve gate.

Researchers, classes, and other visitors authorized to drive into the reserve should know that the reserve road is quite narrow and winding with soft shoulders and some low overhanging trees. Keep your speed under 13 mph at all times. Full sized trucks and passenger vans can pass the road. Four wheel drive is not necessary, but vehicles with low clearance should proceed with extra caution to avoid the occasional high spot or fallen rock. Trucks with cab-over campers, or vans with camper conversions or high and wide roof racks are not advised. Please carpool as much as possible. There is a public parking lot adjacent to the reserve gate if you want to carpool from there into the reserve.

Making Reservations

All reserve users must complete an online application and obtain approval prior to visiting the reserve. Please take the time to follow these five steps to ensure your application is successfully submitted. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Reserve Manager directly at or at 707-354-1504.

A note on reservations: As a general policy, the Angelo Reserve gives scheduling priority to UC researchers and classes.

1. Check the facility descriptions to determine which lodging option is suitable for your visit.

Facility rates are below:

2. Go to the Reserve Application Management System (RAMS) for UC NRS and either log-in as a Returning User or create a new profile for yourself under New User.

3. Check the online Calendar for availability of your preferred facility. (Note: you can also view the calendar when you are logged into RAMS. Click on the Calendar tab, make sure “Reserve Calendar” is selected, select Angelo Coast Range Reserve from the drop down list, then adjust month and year accordingly.) Please keep in mind that applications “pending approval” will not be displayed on the calendar. If you have any questions about availability, please contact the Reserve Manager at or at 707-354-1504.

4. Complete an application and reservation on RAMS. This is a two-step process; first you must fill out an application, then you follow-up by filling out a reservation (if you do not know when you want to visit, you can return to the database later to complete a reservation). The application is essentially your profile and a description of your research, class activities, or purpose for your visit, whereas the reservation specifies a certain date(s) and facility that you would like to reserve. You can make multiple reservations on a single application. Your application and reservation must be approved by the Reserve Manager prior to arrival.

5. Please be sure to review the rules and regulations for being on the Reserve. Once your application and/or reservation(s) has been approved all members in your group who are not UC students or staff will be required to sign a waiver of liability. If you do not hear from reserve staff within a few days of your application submittal, please contact the Reserve Manager at or at 707-354-1504.