Rancho ​Soñado

Rancho Soñado, the headquarters of Inside the Outdoors®, is an environmental education facility located in the Santa Ana Mountains. Surrounded by preserves and national forest, Rancho Soñado gives your students a chance to explore local ecology in a pristine environment. Ecosystems represented include a pond, a riparian area, oak woodland, and chaparral.

This program has been revised to better support the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for 5th grade.


NGSS Standards Supported:

5-LS2-1, 5-ESS2-1, 5-ESS2-2, 5-ESS3-1

Physical Education Standards Fitness Concepts, Body Composition, Aerobic Capacity, Social Interaction
3.7, 4.11, 4.12

Fifth grade students explore the ecology of the Santa Ana Mountains through the following activities:

Water Station
Students participate in hands-on activities in which they learn about the hydrosphere, the amount of fresh water available on Earth, and water reuse. Students also learn about the source of their local water.

Wetland Assessment
The students use the scientific method to determine if the nonliving factors present in a pond are suitable for sustaining organisms. Working in teams, they measure the temperature, pH, clarity and salinity of the water. They will also survey plant and animal variety. The students compile their data and develop conclusions.

Plant Labs
Students work in cooperative groups at various lab stations to learn how plants adapt to dry conditions in the chaparral ecosystem. 

Energy Trail
Students will learn about different native animals and be able to identify where they get their energy.
Students will use pedometers throughout the day to track their number of steps to estimate the amount they have hiked for the day.  Students will also learn to take their heart rate and check their heart rate before and after hiking.


Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 
Parking: Vehicle parking is limited
Accessibility: not wheelchair accessible
Click here for a map to the site.  The address  
is on the map.
View the current program fees.
Register Now



Teacher Resources



New Funding