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Sierra College Natural History Museum Rocklin CA

We Love Sierra College's Natural History Museum


Hi Friends, It's so cool visiting some of the unique and great places in Rocklin.  One of my recent favorite visits (and revisits) was to Sierra Community College's Natural History Museum! Talk about a great place to spend time soaking in information on the natural history of our beautiful area as well as learning about natural history from around the world.  Wow!  This is the perfect place for curious mind of all ages to get answers to so many questions about the history of nature.  Of course, for me, it was a walk back in time to my early days as a student at this very campus!  But worry not!  I'll only be sharing the beauty and wonder found at Sierra College's Natural History Museum.  No college glory day stories from me (this time, ha ha ha).

Amazement for All!

Museums are a place where magic happens because they're created to answer questions and spark curiosity!  Their purpose is to enrich our lives, create a love of learning and, when it's a history museum, foster an appreciation for history.  Sierra College's Natural History Museum absolutely fits that bill!  Even before entering the building, you see something interesting to look at with Titanoboa (extinct snake which lived about 70 million years ago) and Phobosuchus (ancient relative of today’s crocodile that lived approximately 80 million years ago) etched into the concrete leading to museum's entrance. This is a great indication for the amazing things you'll find inside this colossal, curiosity-creating collection of treasures!

I had the pleasure (and fun) of taking my three-year-old grandson on my trip to this museum and appreciated it with new wonder as a result.  I believe even without the three-year-old, you'll be impressed with so much history found in one place.  From the second you walk through the doors, everything displayed at this mecca of awesomeness (can you tell I love grand adjectives?) gives you perspective for where we fit in on this planet we call earth. From large to small, each type of display is carefully designed with attention to details.  

Enclosed in Glass and Small.

From compact conifer cones to little lepidopteras (moths and butterflies) each display showcases so many samples that it takes quite a while to look at them all.   There's a case full of mushrooms, one with magnified soil and one that is sooooo cute with bird's nests.  

Up High, Floating, Big and Tall.

There are many exhibits that hang from the ceiling so everywhere you look (no really, I mean everywhere) there is something to be amazed at.  There's a 38-foot California Gray Whale skeleton (actually largest Gray Whale on display from anywhere, according Dick Hilton, co-chairman and college science teacher) and a Manatee skeleton are just two among others floating from the ceiling.

Mammals Shown from Here and There.

On the walls are many MANY exhibits featuring animals from North America (Mountain Lion, Moose, Elk, etc), there are those from Europe (Chamois, Four Horned sheep and yes, that's a real deal name, Wild boar) and Asian Mammals like a Snow Leopard!

Mammals, Mammals From Everywhere.

There are examples of South American mammals like the Armadillo, Three-toed Sloth and Jaguar and from Africa there are the Cheetah, Bush Pig and Cape Buffalo.

Something to see in every nook.

If I had to call out a favorite during my time at Sierra College Natural History Museum (I mean my visit, not my time there as a student…did I mention I was a student here?)  I'd say it's the fossil exhibits.  Oh, my oh my oh my!  There are tons of bones, skeletal models and actual skulls to marvel at.  Everything from a Tyrannasaurus Rex jaw replica to an Ice Age Bison skull and even a Wooly Mammoth tusk. There's a case with fossil tracks and ripple marks and another with Ice Age fossils (this list isn't naming even half of the fossils in it) and I even noticed a Basiolosaurus (ancestor of a whale) half-skull.  Now that isn't as odd as it sounds when you're standing in front of it.  It's really striking!  It's all so fascinating and makes you appreciate how everything is so complex when you see the bare bones of it all (yes, while puns are sorely over-rated, this one seemed necessary right now).  There are even two cases dedicated to minerals in all sizes, shapes and colors!

It's all amazing no matter where you look.

I really could go on and on about how many things you can spend time looking at.  There's a really great area with antlers from around the world, a "rocks of Rocklin" poster that made me appreciate how much there is to see by just walking around on the many paths in our area.  Oh, and speaking of rocks, there is the most BEAUTIFUL huge Brazilian Amethyst Geode ever!!! It's about the size of a Volkswagen!  Well, okay, maybe not even half that size but it's really big. No really, check out the picture.   And don't forget about the skull case.  It alone will take quite a bit of time to appreciate with over 100 skulls of modern and extinct animals!

Come one, come all to this great museum found in Sewell Hall.

See something from your own back yard and from around the world at this wonderful museum!  This prestigious museum has been named as one of the top 30 museums of its kind IN THE NATION! I'd say that's worth an all cap shout out!  In addition to being graded on its number of exhibits and quality of displays, a museum is graded on amount of community involvement.  It shouldn't surprise anyone that Sierra College's Museum of Natural History received high accolades for its deep-rooted involvement in the local community when earning this impressive award. Even during times of funding shortfalls, the museum continued its dedication to offering educational programs and seminars to the public.  New exhibits have continued to be added there is currently an agreement with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco that's resulted in a long-term loan of some of their exhibits!  If you subscribe to the Sierra College Museum of Natural History's email list, you'll never miss special events and new exhibits! Send a request to museum@sierracollege.edu  With its own impressive history beginning in the mid-1960s at Sierra College's Sewell Hall Science Building, this museum is a place you must visit and bring your family and friends.

Wait, here's an idea!

After the last of your treasures are put into the hands of the capable and caring management staff at Stanford Ranch Self Storage, shift gears by treating yourself, and your moving groupies, to an enriching time at Sierra College Natural History Museum.  You'll all be the better for it.

At Stanford Ranch Self Storage, Rocklin's newest self storage facility set to open our doors any month now, we truly love our community! Want to see us review other spots in the greater Rocklin, CA community? Please make sure to reach out. We would love to hear from you!

Hours of operation - Because the museum is in the college's science building, its hours are based on when classes are in session.  Open during regular college semester hours during the week (7am to 9pm Monday through Thursday, and 5pm on Fridays) It's also open Saturdays when classes are session (8am to noon, but closed on holidays and college closures).    

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