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Old 10-05-2011, 10:04 AM
 
765 posts, read 2,440,764 times
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Friends are coming in this weekend and we were thinking of taking them down to Pacific Grove to see the monarchs. Is it too early to view the butterflies? Is it worth the trip?
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Monarch Grove Sanctuary (http://www.ci.pg.ca.us/monarchs/default.htm - broken link)
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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Have you been? Is it worth the trip? Better in November?
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,190 posts, read 6,851,151 times
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I haven't been but i have been wanting to.
Maybe this is the year to go.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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We went down yesterday, and in my opinion, a total waste of time. The "sanctuary" - is a really small park, that takes about 30 seconds to walk through. The butterflies are together high in the trees with their wings closed so they look like leaves (the orange part is the back so when the wings are closed they are light brown in color). There are some butterflies fluttering around- not what I imagined - definately a disappointment, and something to cross off your "must do" list. I went to an indoor exhibit at a zoo which was a much better experience, and a better opportunity to see butterflies.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
1,963 posts, read 3,043,535 times
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Sorry this is so late after the original post - I'm catching up on the forums since my last login.

1) It takes more than 30 seconds to walk thru (talk about over-exaggeration) but it's probably a bit less than 3-4 minutes. (If your visit really was 30 seconds, you missed the actual trail to the butterflies.)

2) There is also a very small "info/nature center" that you might find interesting (if you are into *info* about natural bio-systems).

3) If you don't want to pay for parking, you can get in for free by parking on Delaware Ave (just West of Natural Bridges Dr.) and wlk in via the pedestrian entrance to the park.

4) The "interest" will depend mainly on two things : density of population of the butterflies, and the temperature. There's a higher population from late Nov thru Jan (or Feb) than earlier or later than that. If the temp is below 55, then almost all of the butterflies will be on the trees and basically not moving (it's too cold). 60-65 and the majority of the butterflies will *most likely* be on the trees, but many will be moving their wings, and some will be flying around. I'd say that when temps are in the 63-70 degree range (at the park) is the best time to visit.

5) You can verify current temps on the internet in many ways, but here's a link to an on-line "personal" weather station that is a few hundred feet from the park :
Weather Station History : Weather Underground

Lastly, while I've never been "blown away" at the park (it's not as if you show up with butterfly food and they mob you; it's a natural park and butterfly sanctuary, not an amusement park) - I *have* enjoyed every visit I've made there. But then I go in nice weather and just enjoy the sun and the beach and the walk in the park as much as the butterflies.

Hope this all helps the next person thinking about going ...
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Folsom, CA
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marcopolo666...
You're commenting on the wrong butterfly sanctuary. That's Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz (which is worth going to as well). Regardless, many of the details mentioned apply to Pacific Grove as well, except PG doesn't have a nature center.

easybay...
Yes, the PG sanctuary is a very small park. You shouldn't expect to get a good walk in. The number of butterflies varies year to year. Some years it can be a few thousand, other years has been in the tens of thousands! The numbers usually peak at the end of November. Also, the number of active butterflies varies during the time of day you visit. Usually the best time is midday when it's warmer. You should try visiting again on a sunny day at the end of November this year.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
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Doh! I saw "Santa Cruz" in the title and completely missed "Pacific Grove". Sheesh.
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