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Monarch Grove Sanctuary

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. 

Trail/Pathway Details

Monarch Grove Sanctuary

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. 

Accessibility Details

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

At trailhead
Interpretive panel along trail
Interpretive panel along trail (Jean Morrison)

Features icon key

  • wildlife viewing

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: City of Pacific Grove
Address: 250 Ridge Rd. between Lighthouse Ave. and Short St., Pacific Grove
Nearest City: Pacific Grove
Phone: (831) 648-5716
Hours: Dawn to dusk
Fees: None
Dogs: Not allowed
Public Transportation: Monterey Salinas Transit 

Did You Know?

To reach their overwintering sites, Monarch butterflies may travel as far as 2,000 miles, covering perhaps a hundred miles a day, and fly as high as 10,000 feet. 

Reviewed by Bonnie Lewkowicz, October 1, 2008
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

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