The James Reserve is an outdoor classroom set in the San Jacinto Mountains. Founders Harry and Grace James established an innovative and pioneering Trailfinders program of outdoor education long before the James Reserve was established. Youth from urban Pasadena as well as the Hopi Indian Reservation spent idyllic summers here. As Trailfinders, they grew up to become renaissance men with a diversity of skills, from rock climbing and outdoor survival skills to appreciation of and fluency in classical music.

Today, the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve strives to carry on the Trailfinders tradition by hosting classes from preschools to high schools and universities. In addition to day trips from nearby campuses, the reserve’s 70+ bed capacity and full kitchen facilities allow faculty from more distant schools to plan multiple day stays for their classes. The on-site classroom with plant and animal collections and laboratory facilities add to the learning students will experience at the James Reserve and Oasis de los Osos. Multi-day visits can expose students to experiences that go beyond their class subject matter, including interactions with scientists conducting research at the reserve.

Classes visiting the reserve