Skip to main content

School Field Trips & Virtual Programs




Tour our wildlife sanctuary with your students to learn how to safely coexist with native Arizona wildlife. Small groups get an up-close view of Southwest Wildlife as we share the compelling stories of our sanctuary residents. Our tours are led by experienced guides using an engaging, standards-based curriculum. The tour is two hours long and takes place completely outdoors.

For virtual distance learning, SWCC now offers an online version of our school programming! Our instructors will join your Zoom or Google Classroom (or whichever streaming service you use) and present an interactive 45-minute program chock full of wildlife knowledge and videos.

Fill out the Initial Request Form below to receive information about in-person or virtual fees and scheduling.


  • The Initial Request Form does NOT guarantee tour availability. We will contact you regarding your tour request. 
  • Each in-person field trip has a maximum of 20 participants (students and adults combined). If your group is larger than 20, we must split your group over multiple days. There is no participant limit for the virtual program.
  • Dates for school field trips are limited. 
  • Please contact us at least 2 months in advance with your preferred date for either virtual or in-person programming.
  • We do NOT offer in-person school tours past mid-May due to extreme heat of summer.
Offsite Program

In addition, please see our FAQ section below.


Initial Request for School Program Form

(The animals eat peanuts and peanut butter on the tour unless an allergy is specified.)

Field Trip FAQ's

Does my group qualify for the school field trip rate?

The discounted school field trip rate only applies to school groups (homeschool, public school, charter school, private school, etc.) and groups that are for children such as girl scouts and boy scouts. If your group has more adults than children you will be charged the private tour rate. Call us at 480-471-3621 or submit our Contact Us form for more information about private tours.

How long are tours and what will I see?

School field trips are 2 hours long. You will see native southwest mammals including black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, foxes and more. All the wildlife along our tour route are non-releasable. 

How does a school field trip tour differ from a public tour?

School field trips are an engaging adventure that include educational activities along the tour route. 

Where are you located?

We are located near the town of Rio Verde, north of Fountain Hills in North Scottsdale.

Are weekend dates available?

On weekends our facility cannot accommodate private or school tours due to an increase in public tours. If your group can only attend on a weekend, please submit your request as far in advance as possible. 

Do I have to commit now? Can’t I wait to sign up for a date?

Due to the high number of requests coming in for school tours, please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in setting up a tour date. January through April are very busy months in which we fill up all available dates for school tours. The sooner you commit to a date, the higher the likelihood that you will get the date that you desire. Tours must be booked  and deposit paid at least one month in advance.

Are you open in the summer?

Yes! Our animals receive care every day, year-round. During the summer, we only offer public morning tours. However, we do NOT offer school tours during the summer.

What should I wear?

Tours are outdoors as you weave in and out of shady and sunny areas. Remember to have your students wear hats and sunblock, bring water and wear closed-toed shoes. Tours take place in rain or shine.

Why do we have a tour guide, can’t we just walk around?

We are closed to the public outside of our scheduled tour times. You must be with a tour guide to see our facility.

What will my group learn by going on this tour?

Your students will learn about the vital importance of native mammals to southwest ecosystems. They will learn basic facts about each species as well as each individual animal’s story of how they came to live at SWCC. We teach that wild animals are not pets and how to safely coexist with the wildlife around you.

Is there food onsite? Can we eat lunch at your location after the tour?

There are no food options onsite and picnicking is not available. We recommend that you look for a nearby park so that the children can have room for recess play.

Will our bus fit at your location?

Yes, we can fit a full-size school or charter bus in our parking lot.