NatureBridge students hiking in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate

School & Group Environmental Science

Discover Your Outdoor Classroom
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Golden Gate
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Our overnight environmental science programs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area offer students the opportunity to engage in inclusive, hands-on learning experiences in one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most pristine coastal locations. Students explore Rodeo Beach and the trails of the Marin Headlands, challenge themselves physically, build meaningful relationships and discover a caring relationship with the natural world. We collaborate with each school or group to ensure their program experience meets their educational goals.

Our Program

Sample Day and Activities #

Morning: Gather in the dining hall for breakfast, pack backpacks and prepare for the day.

Instructional Day on Trail: Spend the day in small learning groups led by a professional NatureBridge educator. Students engage in collaborative, authentic scientific learning experiences in a safe and supportive environment. These experiences are designed to support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and student’s social and emotional development. 

Sample Activities 

  • Study the adaptations of tide pool creatures in an intertidal marine touch tank.
  • Collect and identify macroinvertebrates from Rodeo Pond.
  • Engage in rock inquiry and explore 200 million years of geologic history.
  • Visit the Point Bonita Lighthouse and observe seal behavior from the coastal bluffs.
  • Hike to the top of Hawk Hill or Hill 88 and enjoy 360° views of the San Francisco Bay.

Afternoon/Early Evening: Return to campus to reflect, relax and unwind while school chaperones supervise. Dinner in the dining hall gives everyone a chance to share their trail stories.

Evening: NatureBridge educators facilitate evening programs selected by group coordinators that could include a short night hike, campfire or beach visit to look for bioluminescent plankton. Students then return to the dorms and get ready for bed.

students on trail overlooking Rodeo Lagoon

Areas of Study #

Marine Science: Students visit coastal, lagoon and rocky intertidal habitats while exploring human impacts on the ocean and estuarine resources.

Terrestrial Plants & Animals: Students gain an understanding of the components and intricate interconnections of terrestrial ecosystems while exploring issues such as resource management, habitat loss, and conservation.

Watershed Studies: Students learn about the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems, the role of water in terrestrial systems, how their actions affect the world's oceans regardless of their distance from it and how the ocean affects all of us, in turn.

Earth & Physical Science: Students engage their scientific inquiry skills to discover why this region, as well as their home community, has developed over geologic time to have its unique character.

Climate Change (5th grade and up): Students begin to define and understand climate change by learning about the carbon cycle, the greenhouse effect and phenology.

Our Educators #

NatureBridge environmental science educators bring our programs to life. Our skilled and passionate educators provide inclusive and culturally responsive programming that challenges students to step out of their comfort zones and connect to themselves and one another. Our staff have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent work and training experience, cleared background checks and are certified to manage risk in the field. 

The energy and passion our educators have for engaging with youth and the natural world is a vital element of our success.

Outcomes #

Connect to SCIENCE + NATURE +  SELF AND OTHERS: Students experience personal growth, build interpersonal skills, gain science knowledge, strengthen critical thinking skills and act as environmental stewards. NatureBridge strives to create an impactful and lasting educational program for every student.

There is no other program that balances personal growth, teamwork and environmental education at such a high level. Our students always grow into themselves at NatureBridge.
Laura M., Teacher at Sacramento Country Day School
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Our Campus

Lodging #

Our environmental science programs utilize dormitories located on our "Beach" campus adjacent to Rodeo Lagoon or "Bluff" campus located near Point Bonita, which may be shared between visiting school groups. Dorm buildings are heated and have internal showers and bathrooms. Our beds are twin bunk beds and are steel-framed. All participants are asked to bring their own linens, including pillows, sleeping bags or sheets and blankets, towels, and toiletries.

Dining #

Our amazing kitchen staff works hard to provide nutritional, student- and chaperone-friendly meals to keep our participants fully charged throughout their program. Breakfast and dinner are served in our dining hall, which is shared with all schools on campus. In addition to revolving hot dishes, breakfast and dinner also include fresh fruit or salad. Lunch is served on trail during the hiking day. Most individual dietary restrictions, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free can be accommodated. Our meal service is nut-free. All participants are asked to bring their own lunch on arrival day. Read more about dietary restrictions we can accommodate.

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Rates and Availability

All program rates include a $2 pp scholarship fee used to support our scholarship awards for students in need.
Rates (Off-Peak season is 11/25/24-2/14/25) Student Adult Off-Peak Student Off-Peak Adult
5-Day, 4-Night $537 $477 $488 $431
3-Day, 2-Night $357 $322 $327 $292

NatureBridge Scholarships

NatureBridge is committed to reaching students in all the communities we serve. Scholarships are awarded based on the free and reduced meal rate of a school (or private-school equivalent) and/or other supplemental information to support need. If you believe your school or group may qualify for a scholarship, please reach out to Mira Aboutaam.

Fundraising Ideas

Programs are offered throughout the school year.  For specific dates, please contact us

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Prepare for Your Trip

Students, Families and Chaperones #

Teachers and Group Coordinators #

Visit your planning page

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Request Information

If you would like more information about programs at our Golden Gate campus for the Fall 2023/Spring 2024 school year, please fill out the form below and a member of our outreach staff will be in touch with you.

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Where to

Find Us

NatureBridge at Golden Gate
1033 Fort Cronkhite
Sausalito, CA 94965


Driving directions



Start planning your trip to NatureBridge today!