We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Goleta Butterfly Grove

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 7701 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117-2423
Phone Number: +1 805-961-7510

The Goleta Butterfly Grove is an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area...

The Goleta Butterfly Grove is an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area where your can view the overwintering Monarch butterflies between mid-November and mid-February. It is adjacent to the Sperling Preserve on the Ellwood Mesa. The Ellwood Mesa is 137 acres of natural terrain with designated trails and beach access. Free parking is available at the Ellwood Mesa Parking Lot at 7701 Hollister Avenue. The walk from the parking lot to the grove is a little over a half mile and is marked with trail markers. It's a beautiful walk on a dirt path.To ensure the safety of the monarchs and enjoyment of the public, we ask that visitors please observe the following rules: -Always stay on designated trails and roads. -Stay out of the roped-off areas. -Watch your step when entering and exiting the grove, and avoid monarchs which may be “puddling” in the surrounding areas. -Do not touch or harass the butterflies. -Avoid making loud noises. -Keep dogs on a leash. No bicycles, horses or motorized vehicles in the grove. -Please take your trash out of the grove.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 50 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 34
  • 10
    Very good
  • 1
  • 2
  • 2
A walk in the forrest all the way to the bluffs, with Monarch butterflies in the middle.

How can you beat a scenic walk through beautiful coastal woodlands out to the ocean? Find a Monarch butterfly annual campout on their way south.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 14 September 2016
Goleta, California
Add Photo Write a Review

50 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 49: English reviews
Goleta, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016

How can you beat a scenic walk through beautiful coastal woodlands out to the ocean? Find a Monarch butterfly annual campout on their way south.

Thank markes805
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016

They overwinter here, hatch toward the end of winter and fly away, stopping along the way to lay eggs and die. Their great, great grandchildren stay on this side of the Rockies but get as far as Canada and Mexico before another generation starts back. They hang along the trailing eucalyptus branches like chains of paper cranes. With world climate... More 

Thank IdeasAndOpinions
Goleta, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2016

I live about 2 miles away from this grove. The setting is all natural. There is no paved road to walk on. Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes. It's a short to medium walk with a very short steep uphill before reaching the grove. The butterflies have a season when they arrive and leave. Check online for the best... More 

Thank barbara l
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
65 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2016

I lived down the street as a child and have great memories of "Butterfly Land". We had to shuffle our feet as to not step on any back then. I visited once as an adult but was wrong time of year. It truly was a magical place. So happy to hear that it is now a sanctuary and enjoyed by... More 

Thank CKnolle
Burbank, California, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 July 2016

The park is nice with a quiet rustic forest. If you keep walking through, you'll hit the beach. Locals are friendly and said best times to go is November-February. NOTE*** Do not follow Google Maps, it will take you to the wrong place.

Thank ceohector
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
171 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 July 2016

I visit this location every February to see the beautiful butterflies gather under the giant Eucalyptus tree. Unfortunately when we visited this year there were not as many butterflies but it may have been an earlier season due to the weather. This is a serene and lovely grove which is clean and quiet yet popular with butterfly nature lovers.

Thank Susan90405
Carlsbad, California
Level Contributor
134 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2016 via mobile

We enjoyed a quick walk out to the Butterfly Grove after our Thanksgiving celebration. It was a super way to walk off some stuffing and see something very special and different!

Thank db7477
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2016

if you can see the monarchs in October when they are most present it is a stunning experience. the proximity to the Elwood mesa walking trails and the ocean complete this unforgettable experience!

Thank Hgraf21
Gallatin, Tennessee
Level Contributor
244 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2016 via mobile

We hiked in on a hot February day. We saw a few Monarchs sailing by but not one clump. Probably just too late. I do remember the myriads back in the 70's and these days there are just a fraction. Plant milkweed!

Thank OldOldBob
Foster City, California
Level Contributor
296 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2016 via mobile

It is a bit of a walk from the parking lot, but well worth it. Path is marked and well worn. There was a volunteer there that helped us to spot the butterflies. Actually better to go a little later in the day so they are warm and active. But impressive to see the "dead" leaves come alive.

Thank MOBX

Travellers who viewed Goleta Butterfly Grove also viewed


Been to Goleta Butterfly Grove? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Goleta Butterfly Grove and other visitors
3 questions
Ask a question
San Francisco, California

See all questions (3)

Questions? Get answers from Goleta Butterfly Grove staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?