Natural Bridges State Beach is home to a Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve and a Marine Reserve with tide pools to explore. We will begin at the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum as our starting point, continue down West Cliff Drive on a path with ocean views, and follow the state beach trails to the Monarch Butterfly tree cove. If the weather is cool, we will see nests of butterflies hanging in the trees. If the sun comes out, we may see a sky full of fluttering orange and black wings. From there, we will continue along the trail to the tide pools to search for purple sea urchins, sea anemone, crabs and the like. Then, we will continue our loop and make our way back to the starting point, approximately 5 miles total.
RSVP Requested. Come a few minutes early to explore the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum where we will meet to begin our hike. We will begin walking at 1:00 pm. Low tide is scheduled to occur at 3:05 pm.
Distance: 5.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 100 ft
*Subject to minor changes; we may take a slightly different route based on trail conditions.
Where to Meet: Santa Cruz Surfing Museum parking lot, 701 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.
Carpool: Encouraged but not hosted.
What to Bring:
- At least 1-2L of water.
- Comfortable hiking boots or shoes with good tread for exploring the tide pools on slippery rocks. If you are not planning to explore the tide pools, any comfortable shoes will do for the urban style hike.
- Check the weather forecast, dress in layers.
- A hat.
- The Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve is a protected wildlife refuge and no pets may enter the park.
- Free parking.
- Additional information available here https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=541
Route: 2 miles down West Cliff Drive walking path, 1 mile along Monarch Trail to tree cove and tide pools, 2 miles back down West Cliff Drive to starting point.
Note: Our exact route is subject to change depending on trail conditions and wishes of the hiking group.
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I acknowledge and understand that: (i) I am not required to participate in this event; (ii) my participation is voluntary and at my sole risk; and (iii) I am responsible for my own protection against Covid-19, including, without limitation, following all health and safety protocols communicated to me or posted at the event venue.