Providing Environmental Education on the Central Coast since 1971


leafTucked away in the hills above San Luis Obispo is Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School, a natural preserve, a school campus, and an extraordinary learning resource. Here, on 250 protected acres, students literally reach out and touch the natural world and explore their place within it.

Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School provides hands-on learning opportunities for students to study science and ecology in a natural setting. It is outdoor education at its very best and we have been providing it for over 40 years. More than 250,000 school children have enjoyed and benefited from the Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School facilities and programs and have left with a new sense of wonder of the natural world.


Program Goals


The curriculum is correlated to California science standards and encourages students to trust their senses; it teaches the use of scientific equipment and processes and how to gather and organize data.

Learning here is fun! Groups of students hike across breathtaking terrain, identifying plants, insects, and wildlife. Students learn about the protection and wise use of natural resources. Students discover new interests and future hobbies and, in the process, they discover themselves.

Students enrolled in the residential program also learn Respect, Responsibility, Teamwork, and Cooperation as they build self-esteem. The group format encourages them to reach beyond themselves and accept each other's uniquenesssm hand