What: Monarch Dunes Butterfly viewing
When: Daily, late September to mid February
Reservation Needed: No reservation is needed
Stewardship Travel along the CA Highway 1 Discovery Route in coastal San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL) engages visitors in over 50 bite-size activities and contribution opportunities. Stewardship Travel adds meaning and fun while immersing visitors deeply in the natural and cultural heritage experiences that California’s unique Central Coast has to offer.
The Monarch Dunes Butterfly Habitat was once part of a 957 acre Tasmanian blue gum eucalyptus plantation in Nipomo, California, and has supported as many as 60,000 overwintering monarch butterflies.
From late October to February, thousands of black and orange Monarch butterflies cluster in the limbs of a Eucalyptus grove at Trilogy Monarch Dunes in Nipomo, providing us with a breathtaking glimpse of nature in all her vibrant glory. Many of these fragile butterflies fly more than 1,000 miles, braving harsh weather conditions before coming to roost in the protected grove for the winter.
The grove is open year-round with an interpretive trail. The Butterfly Habitat is open from sunrise to sunset and is free to all. Please park in the paved parking lot at 1610 Kingston Drive, which is immediately adjacent to the butterfly sanctuary. A wheel chair/stroller accessible paved path provides a short easy walk into the main cluster area. Picnic tables and trash receptacles are available. A public horse trail encircles the nineteen acre habitat, with hitching posts provided near the picnic area. There are no restroom or drinking water facilities on site.
The magic and mystery of the monarch migration has charmed and captivated people for years. The eastern population is being severely impacted by deforestation in its Mexican overwintering grounds and the western monarchs are being squeezed by the constant pressures of coastal development and dwindling open space. Both populations have experienced a decrease in numbers due to lack of milkweed necessary as a food source for the larval stage.
Visit http://www.monarchdunesbutterflies.org/help.html to find out how you can help protect the monarchs and their migration.
Gain a deeper connection on vacation through activities and charitable donation opportunities that protect wildlife, habitat, and cultural heritage sites.
This activity selection includes:
*A hands-on stewardship/caring event
*A conservation/heritage donation opportunity through the Central Coast State Parks Association
Thank you for being a Stewardship Traveler along the Highway 1 Discovery Route.