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“Not worth the trip!”

Goleta Butterfly Grove
Ranked #3 of 20 things to do in Goleta
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We are sad to have to inform you, that as a result of the findings of a tree health assessment, many of the trails on Ellwood Mesa have been closed. The Ellwood Main Monarch Aggregation Site (aka Goleta Butterfly Grove) and other Monarch Butterfly aggregation areas on the Ellwood Mesa will remain closed indefinitely. It is not safe for individuals to enter many of the trails on Ellwood Mesa and the Monarch Butterfly aggregation sites due to the fall risk of dead and dying trees. Several trails to the beach remain open. Check our website for updates on access and trail maps.
Reviewed April 4, 2018

While its a great idea to have a place where you can see lots of butterflies, this one is not very appealing to walk through, as it consists only of a small grove of half dead eucalyptus trees with a dirt pathway leading to a bluff top pathway with no trees or shade whatsoever. The butterflies do gather in these trees, but only seasonally and the timing varies quite a bit, so its hard to get it just right. This area is mostly used by those looking for a place to take a walk or a run, but even for that purpose, I would find it very unappealing. Parking is ample, however.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank cmkr1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"monarch butterflies"
in 11 reviews
"eucalyptus trees"
in 11 reviews
"wings"
in 5 reviews
"minute walk"
in 3 reviews
"warm winter day"
in 2 reviews
"the cliff"
in 3 reviews
"california coast"
in 2 reviews
"bacara resort"
in 3 reviews
"santa barbara"
in 3 reviews
"monarchs"
in 24 reviews
"february"
in 10 reviews
"migration"
in 8 reviews
"preserve"
in 7 reviews
"path"
in 7 reviews
"nature"
in 7 reviews
"fluttering"
in 4 reviews
"beach"
in 16 reviews
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5 - 9 of 78 reviews

Reviewed February 23, 2018 via mobile

We love exploring unique areas and did enjoy the walk to the beach and the walk along the beach, but were disappointed that we didn’t see any butterfly gatherings. We did see one flutter by. But, the walk through the eucalyptus grove was nice (smelled good) and the walk along the beach cliffs beautiful. We found a path down to the beach and THAT was the highlight of this visit, walking as far as we could down the coast, seeing the snowy plovers, talking to the docent on the beach, seeing for ourselves the tarry substance that occurs naturally, finding an abandoned building that’s been covered with colorful graffiti. We found some beautiful rocks and some nice pieces of sea glass. Coming back, we got lost on the myriad of trails and ended up in a neighborhood and came back to our car via sidewalks. All in all, good day, maybe a bit long, but that was our own fault. We did get 20,000 steps on our fitbits!!

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank allison c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 31, 2018 via mobile

We went to see these butterflies late in the afternoon to keep busy and increase our step count. We got to the right part of the grove and we saw lots of butterflies but they were all hanging together on the trees with their wings all closed up. I was told that it was too chilly to see a lot flying around. I would suggest going on a warm sunny day earlier than right before sundown.

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank 40nancym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 22, 2018

This day trip is well worth the effort. The butterflies are incredible and the trails are beautiful for exploring a rugged part of the Santa Barbara coast.

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank erin t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed January 6, 2018

You half to walk probably a mile or so before you see anything. Lots of people go here, but I didn't see the attraction to the place. We only saw one butterfly the whole time we explored the coast and trees. Not impressed.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank compcrzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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