Newts in the Botanical Garden

We’re lucky to live in California newt country. These magical little creatures can be found throughout the hills in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. We’ve had luck finding them in Jewel Lake at Tilden and crossing the trails in Las Trampas. Our favorite place for newt viewing, however, is in the Japanese Pool at the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley. During mating season, the newts come out of the hills to meet in the pool and then lay their eggs.

March is the best time to spot the newts swimming around in the Japanese Pool. We saw two during our visit today. Look in the water near the rocks of the path. Sit still, and move slowly. I’ve observed that the newts will swim away to hide when we move around too much, but they will come back out after we’ve been still for a while.

For more information about the newts in the Japanese Pool (there are actually two species to be found here, the California newt and the rough-skin newt), check out this cute picture and listen to the podcast from garden director, Paul Licht… Newts in the Garden. My son sat on my lap and listened to the entire podcast!

For hours, directions, and admission fees: Plan Your Trip


  1. Tracy Dodge says:

    Awesome, Linda. The UC Botanical Garden is a Discover & Go partner so free passes are available to Alameda County Library card holders. I’d love to go check out the newts but not with rain in the forecast!


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      I LOVE the Discover & Go program!


      1. Tracy Dodge says:

        Downloaded a pass and went to the gardens today! Saw a few newts and a frog in the pond. Still nothing beats the time we saw a newt on the Bollinger Creek trail at Las Trampas last year. Too bad we didn’t have a camera that time!


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