Every fall and early winter, thousands of Monarch butterflies travel amazing distances from the northern United States and southern Canada to spend the winter at a handful of sites along the California coast. One of these is a grove of eucalyptus and Monterey pines in the little coastal town of Pacific Grove, on Monterey Bay. On a cool day you might mistake the butterflies clustered in the trees for dead leaves, but as sunlight warms them they begin to move and take flight, filling the air with flickers of orange. They mate here, then in spring fly north in search of milkweed plants on which to deposit their eggs. Docents are on hand November through mid-February, noon-3 pm every day except Friday.
Monarch Grove Sanctuary
see access criteria for definitions
- Trailhead: Just past the Butterfly Grove Inn, look for the small orange sign, “Monarch Grove Sanctuary Entrance.” Follow the easement to the sanctuary.
- Length: Under one mile total
- Typical Width: 4 ft. & above
- Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle
The slope throughout ranges from 8 to 13% (a typical ramp is 8%)
- Terrain: Firm
May be muddy in winter
A short path winds downhill through the grove. Most of the trees are in the upper area, so you can avoid going down the steep section and still get a good view.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
- Accessible Parking: Yes
Next to the school on Ridge Road
- Accessible Restroom: Yes