Explore & Investigate

Millions of years of geology and evolution have created the spectacular vernal pools at Sacramento County’s Mather Field. These are exceptional examples of a rare wetland ecosystem that is unique to California. Visitors can experience this piece of California’s natural history, just 30 minutes from downtown Sacramento.

What is a Vernal Pool?

A vernal pool is a temporary wetland that fills with water during the rainy season and dries down in the spring. It remains dry for six to eight months awaiting the next winter rains. The plants and animals that are adapted to survive these annual extremes of flood and drought create a changing mosaic of life throughout the three phases of a vernal pool: wet, flowering and dry.