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Natural Bridges State Beach

Basics
Location:
Near Santa Cruz in west central California
Type:
State Parks
Elevation:
Sea level feet

Description

This beach, with its famous natural bridge, is an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, migrating whales, and seals and otters playing offshore. Further along the beach, tidepools offer a glimpse of life beneath the sea. Low tides reveal sea stars, crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful ocean life. The park also includes a large area of coastal scrub meadows, with bright native wildflowers in the spring. Moore Creek flows down to the ocean through these meadows, forming a wetlands in the sand.

Hours + Fees

Hours:
8 am to sunset.
Season:
Open year-round

Amenities

Amenities:
Modern Restrooms
Visitor Center
Picnic Area(s)

Details

Additional Details:
A picnic area is located off the main parking lot in a eucalyptus and pine trees grove. Tables, barbecues, water faucets and restroom facilities are available. There is a day-use fee per car to park in the state beach area.

The park''s Monarch Grove provides a temporary home for over 100,000 Monarchs each winter. From mid-October through the end of February, the Monarchs form a "city in the trees." The area''s mild ocean air and eucalyptus grove provide a safe roost until spring. In the spring and summer, the butterflies live in the valley regions west of the Rocky Mountains where milkweed, the only plant a Monarch caterpillar eats, is plentiful.

The Monarch Grove has been declared a Natural Preserve, thus protecting the Monarchs and their winter habitat from human encroachment or harm. This is the only State Monarch Preserve in California. Access to the preserve area is limited to a handicap accessible boardwalk and observation area.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Take Swift Avenue west from Highway 1, or follow West Cliff Drive north along the in-town bluffs until it ends at Natural Bridges.
Customizable Directions


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