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S.F. Bay Area — California
Monterey, CA
Monterey and Area Attractions

Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary
October thru' February

 

Monarch Butterfly Habitat Sanctuary — Pacific Grove
Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary is a "must-see" for butterfly lovers — tourists flock to the outdoor sanctuary every winter to see thousands of beautiful butterflies clustered on pine, eucalyptus, cypress and redwood trees, in Monterey's Pacific Grove.

Best Times to See the Butterflies
The Monarch Butterflies arrive at the Sanctuary in October, where they overwinter (wait out the winter season) until late February, before joining in the spring migration.



The best time to see the butterflies is when they are at their most active between 12 noon and 3pm on sunny days. When the sun shines on the trees, you can see them fluttering in large clusters. A docent is always on duty during this time. During a recent visit around 1:30pm on a warm sunny day, the trees and sky were teeming with butterflies — a magical sight!

Butterflies can only fly in temperatures of 55° and above; under 40° they can't move at all — 50°-55° is a preferable micro-climate. (Temperature reflects where the butterflies are, not the ground temperature.)



Get an Up-Close View of the Monarch & Viceroy Butterflies
Bring binoculars if you have them (there is a telescope on the sanctuary grounds if you don't), so you can get an up-close view of these beautiful Monarch and Viceroy Butterflies.

Both Monarchs and Viceroys look almost identical, however there are subtle differences — Viceroys have a horizontal black stripe going across its hindwings (lower set of wings), as pictured above. They've evolved to look like the poisonous Monarchs so predators will avoid them too!

Overwintering Season
October thru' February — Overwintering is when the Monarch Butterflies wait out the winter season in warmer areas.

Spring Migration
By March, most of the butterflies have departed, traveling more than 2,000 miles — through the Central Valley into the Sierras and northeast to the Rocky Mountains, laying eggs as they go.

Butterfly Docents
During the overwintering season (Oct thru' Feb), Butterfly Docents (provided by the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History) are on site daily from 12 noon-3pm to welcome visitors and answer questions about the Monarch Butterflies.

Sanctuary Hours
The outdoor Butterfly Sanctuary is open sunrise to sundown during the overwintering season (Oct thru' Feb).

Admission
FREE admission. Group reservations are not required in advance.

Location
Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary is located on Ridge Road (one block west of the intersection of Lighthouse Avenue and the 17-Mile Drive) in Pacific Grove — about a 5-10-minute drive from Cannery Row in downtown Monterey.

Google Map for Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary

Parking
Parking is available as soon as you turn onto Ridge Road, next to the red school buildings. Walk along the pathway that leads into the outdoor Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary.


Family of Deer
Folllow the path thru' the trees at the Butterfly Sanctuary and you may get lucky and see a family of deer. We saw five of them during our last visit, grazing on the grass.

Deer at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California

Family of deer at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California


Other Monarch Butterfly Locations
Monarch Butterflies can also be found clustering in eucalyptus groves at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, and at the North Beach Campground in Pismo Beach, near San Luis Obispo.


More Info
Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary

Pacific Grove
"Butterfly Town USA"

 

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Monarch Butterflies at Monarch Habitat Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, California

Close-up photo of a Viceroy Butterfly - both Monarchs and Viceroys look almost identical, however there are subtle differences - Viceroys have a horizontal black stripe going across its hindwings

Monarch Butterflies clustered on trees at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, California

Monarch Butterflies clustered on the trees at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, California

Monarch Butterflies clustered on the trees in the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California

Monarch Butterflies at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, Califronia

Group admiring the Monarch Butterflies at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, Monterey, California

Admiring the view - Monarch Butterflies, beautiful Eucalyptus, Cypress, Pine and Redwood Trees, Deer... at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, CA

Beautiful Eucalyptus, Cypress, Pine and Redwood Trees at the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California

Pathway leading into the Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, CA


Fun Monterey Butterfly Gifts

Buy "Monterey Butterfly" Plush White Teddy Bear and Fun Monterey Gifts - Monterey, California
Monterey Butterfly
Plush White Teddy Bear

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Monterey Butterfly
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Buy "Monterey Butterfly" Kids White T-Shirt and Fun Monterey Gifts - Monterey, California
Monterey Butterfly
Kids White T-Shirt

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