Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve

The Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve, set in a steep, north-facing canyon of the northern Coast Range, provides excellent opportunities to study plant and animal communities of both the inner and outer Coast Ranges. Differences in slope, exposure, and moisture regimes promote a variety of undisturbed habitats, including valley and foothill grasslands, blue oak woodland, chamise chaparral, lower montane chaparral, mixed riparian woodland, and intermittent foothill stream. Year-round springs provide watering areas for many wildlife species, such as bear, mountain lion, deer, ringtail, and turkey. All together, 108 bird species (35 nesting), eight amphibian, eighteen reptile, 43 mammal, and more than 290 plant species have been found at the reserve. Also available for study, adjacent protected lands held by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the California Department of Fish and Game greatly expand the effective research area. The reserve is named in honor of world-renowned plant geneticist and long-time professor at UC Davis and Berkeley, G. Ledyard Stebbins, an avid naturalist with a strong interest in conserving natural biotic communities.

Public access

The site is fully open to the public; up to 5,000 people, mostly local hikers, visit the reserve annually and explore its canyon bottoms and ridgetops.

Educational outreach

The reserve is available for field trips by elementary and secondary schools.

Field courses

The site is visited by university courses in wildlife field techniques, California floristics, range science, wildlife biology, botany, plant ecology, and geology field studies.

Selected Research

  • Diversity and biology of cavity-nesting bees.
  • Effects of fire on native ant populations.
  • Microlepidopteran host associations.
  • Sources of variation in floral nectar availability in fireweeds.
  • Entomological surveys.
  • Studies of Lyme disease.
  • Post-landslide plant succession.

Contact Information
Jeffrey Clary
Reserve Manager
UC Davis
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: 530-752-4601
Fax: 530-752-3350

Stebbins Cold Canyon Website

Solano and Napa Counties, 32 km (20 mi.) west of Davis campus; 10 km (6 mi.) west of Winters; 0.8 km (0.5 mi.) east of Monticello Dam.
Google Map

None; site is best suited for day use

Plant List
Natural history handbook with species lists; GIS layers.

Roving staff reserve manager; no on-site personnel.

258 hectares (638 acres)

91 to 762 m (300 to 2,500 ft.)

Average Precipitation
52 cm (20 in.) per year.

Average Temperature
January: 8ºC (46ºF)
July: 28ºC (82ºF)

© Regents of the University of California.