Monarch Grove Sanctuary

  • Wildlife viewing


  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Parking
  • Wildlife viewing


250 Ridge Rd. between Lighthouse Ave. and Short St., Pacific Grove, CA,
Monterey/Santa Cruz
Info: (831) 648-5716
Dawn to dusk
Not allowed, service animals OK
Last Reviewed:
October 2008
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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. 

Trails and Pathways

Monarch Grove Sanctuary
Trailhead Location:
Just past the Butterfly Grove Inn, look for the small orange sign, "Monarch Grove Sanctuary Entrance." Follow the easement to the sanctuary.
Trail Length:
Under one mile total
Typical Width:
4 ft. & above
Typical Grade:
Mostly gentle
Typical Terrain:
Trail Overview:

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 Notes: The slope throughout ranges from 8 to 13% (a typical ramp is 8%) May be muddy in winter


The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
Accessible Parking:
Yes – designated accessible parking, van accessible, firm, level or slope no greater than 2%;

Next to the school on Ridge Road

Accessible Restroom:
Yes – At trailhead

Additional Information:

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. 

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