Natural Bridges to Lighthouse Field Loop
Explore tidepools and beach habitat at Natural Bridges State Park, a beautiful and popular place to walk.
In this oasis between the ocean and the edge of Santa Cruz lies one of the largest monarch butterfly overwintering sites in the western United States. The park also includes large coastal scrub meadows that in spring are filled with native wildflowers.
In 1983, California State Parks made the monarch grove a natural preserve and sanctuary for these fragile world travelers. Monarchs journey as far as 2,000 miles on their paper-thin wings, seeking protected places like this one where they can find food, warmth and shelter. This grove provides the ideal conditions for the butterflies—and for you to see them. Look through the spotting scope to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking sight of hundreds of monarchs clustered together in the canopy.
The park also includes large coastal scrub meadows that in spring are filled with native wildflowers. Moore Creek flows through the meadows and forms wetlands in the sand.
Walk even further along the bluffs when it is low tide.