Your Group Visit to the Reserve

A trained volunteer naturalist will give your group a 2-hour guided tour of the reef’s many wonders. Large groups will be broken into smaller ones. Our naturalists are friendly and enthusiastic individuals who enjoy sharing their knowledge of the amazing life on the reef.


Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your reservation time to allow for organization, bathroom breaks, snacks and any other logistics that may come up. Your tour may be shortened if you arrive late. If you are running late, please call the FMR Ranger at 650-728-3584 to let us know; otherwise we may cancel your tour without knowing you are on the way.

Upon arrival, check in with the Ranger at the Visitor Center with your Reservation Permit. Groups arriving without a Reservation Permit will not be allowed to visit the reef.

The Ranger and volunteer naturalists will greet your group at the picnic area and provide a “Welcome and Safety Talk.”

Clothing Guidelines

Students and chaperones should wear layered clothing, including a heavy jacket. Even when it is warm inland, it can be quite cold at the reserve. Bring rain gear if there is any possibility of rain. Everyone should wear shoes that can get wet and can provide a good grip on slippery surfaces. Also, we suggest you bring an extra pair of shoes and socks for the ride home.

Lunch Facilities

You are welcome to enjoy a group picnic in the picnic area adjacent to the Visitor Center. The picnic area is the only area in the reserve where food and drinks are allowed. Our only restrooms are located here, too.

Help instill good stewardship in your students by encouraging them to clean up the area after use. Be sure to take advantage of the recycling containers.


  • Remember to have at least 1 adult chaperone for every 5 students.
  • Chaperones must be physically capable of navigating the reef and rocks.
  • Give copies of the Tips for Chaperones sheet to your chaperones and encourage them to read it before your visit. You might also suggest they visit our website to learn more about the reserve prior to your visit.
  • On the day of your visit, please discuss the following with your chaperones:
    • Emphasize the importance of staying with their groups and Naturalist the entire visit.
    • Remind them they are responsible for their students’ behavior while at the reserve, especially with regard to their safety, and to watch for high surf as the tide rises.
    • Have them remind students of the reserve’s rules and help enforce the rules while on the reef. Due to the reef’s inherent dangers of slippery rocks and crashing waves, it is extremely important that all adults keep a careful eye on the students.