Pepperwood is home to over 900 species of plants and animals and provides an ideal setting for conservation research and environmental education.
Located in eastern Sonoma County, approximately 25 minutes from downtown Santa Rosa and a 90 minute drive north of San Francisco, Pepperwood manages a 3,200-acre nature preserve located in the heart of a globally-recognized biodiversity hotspot. The preserve is an important refuge for over 750 varieties of native plants and 150 species of wildlife including birds, reptiles, and mammals representing California's diverse climates. Pepperwood offers a wide array of opportunities for public engagement via the Dwight Center for Conservation Science, a 9,400 square-foot green facility featuring classrooms, laboratories, offices, and space for visiting scholars.
Located on a ridgeline of the Mayacamas Mountains and at the southern end of California’s North Coast Range, Pepperwood is uniquely situated at the headwaters of three watersheds — Mark West, Franz Creek, and Brooks Creek — key tributaries to the Russian River watershed. Situated in the California Floristic Province, a region recognized globally as a biodiversity “hotspot”, Pepperwood itself represents a biodiversity crossroads, featuring species representative of California's coastal, interior, northern and southern climates which converge in rich mosaic of plant communities. Pepperwood is one of the largest scientific preserves in Northern California.
The Dwight Center for Conservation Science is located at 2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Our entrance is located off of Franz Valley Road, approximately midway between the towns of Santa Rosa and Calistoga, and adjacent to our neighbor Safari West.
The physical and mailing address of the Dwight Center for Conservation Science is 2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. This address can be entered into Google Maps, Map Quest, and most newer GPS navigation units. The entrance and turn-off to Pepperwood Preserve Road is located at 3450 Franz Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (this address may be better to use in older GPS navigation units).
Pepperwood is approximately 8 miles from the River Rd Guerneville/Calistoga exit (exit # 494) north of Santa Rosa on Highway 101 (signs also reference access to the Mark West Springs area). After exiting the 101:
Head east on Mark West Springs Road towards Calistoga. When you reach Mark West Lodge, 5.4 miles east from the 101, Mark West Springs Road changes name to Porter Creek Road.
Proceed an additional 1.6 miles to the Franz Valley Road turnoff (left-hand side, landmark is Safari West sign). Pass Safari West and proceed approximately one mile up Franz Valley Road.
Just before the final crest of the hill on the left you will see the Pepperwood sign and the turnoff for Pepperwood Preserve Road. From there it is 0.5 miles to the lower parking lot and another 0.5 miles to the Dwight Center or Bechtel House.
Pepperwood may also be accessed from Calistoga via Petrified Forest/Calistoga Road, which intersects the southern extent of Porter Creek Road.
Visitor parking is located beyond the front entrance and drop-off area of the Dwight Center to the left. Handicapped parking is available just outside the Dwight Center's upper entrance and is accessible from the main parking lot.