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Goleta, California: Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove

More than just a random butterfly hangout, this spot has some seasonal regularity. Monarchs usually flitter around the Goleta Grove from mid-October through mid-February.

Hollister Ave., Goleta, CA
U.S. Hwy 101, exit at Hollister Ave. Turn onto Hollister Ave. toward the ocean. Drive a half-mile. Turn right at the stoplight for Ellwood School. Park in the small Ellwood Mesa Open Space lot. Follow the marked trail a half-mile to the Grove. Wear sturdy shoes and bring binoculars.
Seasonal: mid-Nov.-mid-Feb. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove

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Monarch Butterfly Grove.

Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove

After the half mile walk, you come to the grove. It has a rope around it to protect the area. You can't walk all the way around, so go one way, turn around and go the other. The roosts look like clumps of brownish leaves as part of the monarch's camouflage technique. It's a pretty spectacular sight to see the roosts start breaking apart and seeing the orange and black wings take flight.

[Tania, 11/26/2023]
Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove

Cute little wooded area for a stroll. Even better during butterfly season. Closed since July 2017. The city is working on removing a bunch of dead and dangerous trees. No information yet when it will reopen.

[Christine, 01/01/2018]
Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove

Monarchs are usually found in Goleta from mid-November through mid-February and docents are available on weekends from 11am - 2pm during these months. As of February 22, there were approximately 200 monarch butterflies at the grove which signals the end of the overwintering season. While it is a beautiful walk, don't expect to see many butterflies again until late October/early November. The grove is available for viewing every day during daylight hours and there is no admission fee.

[Muriel, 03/19/2014]

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