Go See the Monarchs 


Starting in the month of October, monarch butterflies migrate to Goleta through the end of February. The Goleta Butterfly Grove is one of the most amazing views in the Elwood Mesa, which has 137 acres of natural terrain with trails leading up to the beach. 

Although the butterflies only make it to our city for a couple of months at a time, the trails are available year round for families to take trips through the groves up to the beaches around the county. 

Monarch butterflies migrate to the Elwood Mesa Monarch Grove.

Images courtesy of Creative Commons

There have been more than 15,000 monarch butterflies recorded this past December already. They have nestled in the trees that form the Elwood Mesa Monarch Grove until next month. And despite this number being higher than the ones we have seen in past years, most of the trails that lead to this spectacular view have been closed due to the tree health assessment. Other sites like the Goleta Monarch Grove have also been shut down indefinitely. The sites have been closed for the safety of the possible visitors as the risk of trees falling over. The City recently realized that there are many trees in bad condition, either dead or dying. The trees, Eucalyptus grove, were affected by the drought. The past years of little rain have increased their vulnerability to pests. 

“It’s unfortunate that they have been closed, I love going out there with my family, but hopefully the trails will be fixed up soon,” said senior Kylie Preston-Mendoza. 

Until the removal of the trees is over and the trails are safe again the plans to go see one of nature’s beauties is to be put on hold. The Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan recommends checking on any updates on the trails. 

Go see the monarchs in our very own city before it is too late! You can also find more information by going to the Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterflies website at: https://www.cityofgoleta.org/projects-programs/ellwood-mesa-habitat-project/