Fall tours and Interpretive Programs
California State Parks
October 1, 2022
Fall tours at Tehachapi Native American Village Site
California State Parks is currently taking reservations for the fall tour season at Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park in Tehachapi, beginning this Saturday! Park visitation is only allowed on authorized guided tours, which involve a moderately strenuous 3-mile hike.
Although no structures remain on this Kawaiisu (Nüwa) Native American village site, the area’s rich history comes alive through the trained volunteer tour guides and the clues that the inhabitants left behind. Tomo Kahni means “winter home” in Kawaiisu, and rock rings mark the locations of many of the kahni, or homes, that were built of juniper boughs. Hundreds of mortar holes in the park tell of a very active past. The tour also includes Medicine Cave, Nettle Springs and a cave with pictographs – a sacred place of the Kawaiisu.
Fall tours will be offered Saturdays through Nov. 5. Tours begin at 8:30 a.m. with an orientation at the Tehachapi Museum in Tehachapi, and last 4 to 5 hours including travel time to and from the park (transportation is not provided).
Please note: This tour is not safe for those with heart conditions, breathing problems or walking limitations. Weather at the high-elevation park is variable, so layered clothing is recommended. Ample drinking water, sun protection, and sturdy walking shoes are also necessary.
Tour fee is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-16 (age 5 and under are free, but not recommended on tours). Tours are limited to 12 people and fill up fast, so reservations are highly recommended for an additional fee of $10 per party. Walk-ins may check for openings at the Tehachapi Museum on the morning of the tour. To make a reservation or for more information, call (661) 946-6092 or email Mojave.Sector@parks.ca.gov. Messages are returned on Mondays and Fridays.
Where: Meet at Tehachapi Museum, 310 S. Green Street, Tehachapi
Twilight Tour of Tomo Kahni Village Site
Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park’s annual Twilight Tour will be on Saturday, Oct. 8, from 5 to 10 p.m. Walk the paths where the Kawaiisu lived as the sun sets, and enjoy the beauty of the village site nestled in the mountains of Sand Canyon as the moon rises. The tour begins at the Tehachapi Museum to view artifacts from the local American Indian culture, and then caravans to the park for the guided evening/night hike through the ancient village site, led by California State Park staff.
The fee for this special fundraiser for the Tehachapi Heritage League is $20 per person. The tour is limited to 20 guests, so reservations are mandatory. Reservations can be made at the Tehachapi Museum on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m., or by calling the museum at (661) 822-8152 (leave a message if outside open hours). No guests under 12 please.
Please note: Those with heart conditions or breathing problems should NOT take this tour. Weather at the high-elevation park is variable, so layered clothing is recommended. Ample drinking water, a flashlight, and sturdy walking shoes for a 3-mile hike on uneven terrain are also necessary.
The park is only open by authorized guided tour. For regular Spring and Fall daytime tours, call (661) 946-6092 or email Mojave.Sector@parks.ca.gov (for the Twilight Tour, contact the Tehachapi Museum).
Contact: Tehachapi Museum, (661) 822-8152 (leave a message if outside open hours).
Red Rock Canyon State Park
Two extra-special October events at Red Rock Canyon State Park! See below for information about a Harriett “Petey” Weaver Living History campfire program on Oct. 8, and FOSSILMANIA activities Oct. 21-22 celebrating Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association’s 40th anniversary of supporting the park!
Red Rock Canyon State Park’s visitor center will be reopening in October. The visitor center features colorful displays and dioramas illustrating Red Rock’s unique geology, fossils, Kawaiisu Indian culture, early settler history, flora and fauna, and Hollywood connection. The gift shop offers books, toys and souvenirs. Visitor Center and programs: 37749 Abbott Drive, Cantil (22 miles north of Mojave on Hwy 14, near California City).
Please note: Programs are subject to cancellation without notice. Check http://www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonCA for latest updates.
Sat., Oct. 1: Docent led nature walk of the “Ricardo Nature Trail.” Learn about various plants and their flowers along with the small animals and how they adapted to the harsh desert environment. Meet at the Ricardo Trailhead across from the visitor center at 9 a.m.
Sat., Oct. 8: Docent led nature walk of the “Ricardo Nature Trail.” Learn about various plants and their flowers along with the small animals and how they adapted to the harsh desert environment. Meet at the Ricardo Trailhead across from the visitor center at 9 a.m.
Sat., Oct. 8: California State Parks “Living History” Campfire Program: Experience the magic of a 1940’s campfire program, presented by the first female California State Parks Ranger! Park Interpreter Jean Rhyne will portray Harriett “Petey” Weaver, wearing a reproduction of the first official 1939 Ranger uniform, to bring the history of our State Parks to life and share her stories of working as a Ranger in the 1930’s-40’s. Program will be held at the amphitheater beginning at 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 15: Docent led nature walk titled “A Walk Through Time”. Learn about weather changes, extinct and present wildlife, Native American uses of plants, and geological make up of Red Rock Canyon. Meet at the Desert View Trailhead near campsite 50 at 9 a.m.
Oct. 21-22: FOSSILMANIA – the Present Unlocking the Past! Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the non-profit Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association
Fri., Oct. 21, 7 p.m .: Evening lecture by UC Berkeley Professor Jack Tseng on Paleontology, including current research on T-Rex at the UC Berkeley paleo labs.
Sat., Oct. 22, Daytime (Time TBA): Guided hike to the location where original Jurassic Park movie scenes were filmed at Red Rock Canyon State Park.
Sat., Oct. 22, 7 p.m .: Series of presentations by UC Berkeley PhD students on current research in paleontology, and how fossils and geology in the present are used to understand the past. Moderated by Prof. Jack Tseng.
Sat., Oct. 22: Ridgecrest Astronomy Club will begin a “Star Party” for viewing planets, constellations, and other celestial objects in the night sky through some amazing telescopes. Star Party will be held at the visitor center parking lot upon completion of the paleontology program.
Sat., Oct. 29: Docent led nature walk of the “Ricardo Nature Trail.” Learn about various plants and their flowers along with the small animals and how they adapted to the harsh desert environment. Meet at the Ricardo Trailhead across from the visitor center at 9 a.m.
Annual American Indian Celebration at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum
The annual American Indian Celebration has returned in full to the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, Oct. 15 and 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Celebration features Native music, dancing, storytelling, and food.
The celebration kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a blessing by Chumash/Tataviam elders Ted and Dennis Garcia. The dance arena will feature Buffalo Creek drum, a Northern Style drum group from the Los Angeles and Temecula area led by Brendon Youngbear Urdanivia (Navajo/Tewa). Throughout the day, the dance area activities will rotate between native dancers with music by Buffalo Creek, Aztec culture and dancing with Danza Azteca Xochipilli, hoop dancer Sage Romero (Piute/Taos Pueblo), and Yaqui deer dancers. Native artists will sell jewelry, beadwork, gourd art, paintings, and crafts at the event. Ted and Dennis Garcia (Chumash/Tataviam) will share traditional Chumash stories in the native plant garden outside Joshua Cottage. Families will enjoy making a clay bowl and trying their hand at pounding acorns and pine nuts at the touch table in Joshua Cottage. Try your luck in the fundraising raffle to support the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, and explore the museum staffed with knowledgeable docents. Visitors may bring lunch to enjoy at the outdoor picnic tables, or purchase Cecilia Begay’s Indian tacos and frybread.
Admission to the event is $8 for adults (cash only) and children ages 12 and under are free. Parking is free. Pets are not allowed at the event. Native dancers are encouraged to join, and should contact the museum at (661) 946-3055 prior to Oct. 15 for complimentary admission.
For more information, phone the museum at (661) 946-3055 (711 TTY relay service), or visit our website at http://www.avim.parks.ca.gov. We look forward to seeing you in person in October!
Where: Antelope Valley Indian Museum, 15701 E. Ave. M, Lancaster, California. From the 14 Freeway in Lancaster, go east on Ave. K to 150th St. E., then follow the signs to the museum.
Crafters Sought for Holiday Event at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum
Craft boutique applications are now being accepted for the Antelope Valley Indian Museum’s annual “Holidays on the Homestead,” to be held on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. The vintage holiday-themed fundraiser also features a cowboy poetry singer, cowboy coffee heated over a campfire, and homestead-era holiday décor throughout the museum grounds.
The theme of the small indoor craft boutique is country-western and/or holiday items which must be hand-made by the crafter. Booths are $30. For craft booth information and applications, contact Caroline Gaete by Nov. 25 at (661) 946-6092 or Mojave.Sector@parks.ca.gov.