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Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve

(a.k.a. Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve)

CDFW invites you to come out on a tour, in Lodi, during the “Season of the Sandhill Crane." The season begins with the arrival of the sandhill cranes into the Delta and Central Valley in about late September, where they will spend the fall and winter months. Tours consist of viewing sandhill cranes and other unique wintering waterfowl, hearing a presentation on sandhill cranes and their Reserve habitat, and viewing the cranes' impressive, nightly behaviors at a location that is only open to the public during these special tours.

NOTE: It is required that you pre-register for your tour as tour size is limited to 30 people and there are no accommodations for drop-ins at the tour site.

Crane Tour Details

The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve is divided into two parcels, known as the South Site and North Site. Tours meet 90 minutes before sunset at the South Site where docent guides meet attendees and give a presentation. Tours involve very little walking so you may want to bring a camp chair if you would like to sit and view the birds. It is recommended that you dress warmly, especially during the winter months as it can be damp and chilly. It is suggested that you bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes for up-close viewing but, you can easily enjoy the cranes with unaided eyes and ears. You may want to bring a light snack and water for your tour.

Portable toilets available. North Site has ADA-compliant facility.

Guides may take tour groups down Woodbridge Road via car caravan to see cranes and other wildlife using the grainfields and marshes along the road. Your docent guides are trained in crane ecology, the area's natural history and the Reserve's habitat management, and want your experience to be memorable and educational. Tours usually conclude a half hour after sunset with the anticipated fly-in of the cranes at the North Site where a viewing shelter allows us to be hidden from the incoming birds.

Cranes will be the focus of our tours as they may be observed here under most but not all conditions; however, we will also scout for other birds that use the reserve during the winter months.

  • Directions to South Site (starting point for CDFW docent-led crane tours):
    The Woodbridge Ecological Reserve / Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve is 45 minutes driving time from downtown Sacramento or 30 minutes from Stockton.
    • From Sacramento, take Interstate 5 south exit on Peltier Road. Turn left under I-5 to the frontage road which is Thornton Road. Turn right (south) on Thornton Road and travel 2 miles to Woodbridge Road. Look for sign “Phil & Marilyn Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve.” Turn right (west) on Woodbridge Road and continue 2.5 miles to a pullout on left side of road. This is the South unit of Reserve, our meeting area. The tours will begin here with docent introduction.
    • From Lodi, SF Bay Area via Hwy 12, Stockton or Los Angeles head north on Interstate 5 and exit on Turner Road. Go left (north) on frontage road which is Thornton Road 1 mile to Woodbridge Road. Look for sign “Phil & Marilyn Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve.” Turn left (west) on Woodbridge Road and continue 2.5 miles to a pullout on left side of road. This is the South unit of Reserve, our meeting area. The tours will begin here with docent introduction.


Bay Delta Region (Region 3)
Regional Manager: Scott Wilson
Main Office: 7329 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558 | (707) 944-5500
Stockton Office: 2109 Arch Airport Rd, Stockton, CA 95206 | (209) 234-3420
Email the Bay Delta Region | Program Contacts


Photo of four cranes taking flight

Online registration for sandhill crane tours will open during the month of August and will be offered monthly throughout the season. A registration window will open approximately six weeks before each month's tour. The following schedule shows the registration window for each month.

Tours scheduled for this month May be booked starting
October Mid-August
November Mid-September
December Mid-October
January Mid-November
February Mid-December

You may want to register early as tours fill quickly. Check out other information about tours and sandhill cranes below. We look forward to visiting with you this year during the “Season of the Sandhill Crane."