Every winter, thousands of monarchs migrate from as far north as Canada to make their way to the eucalyptus trees of the Goleta Butterfly Grove. This incredible sight is a cherished natural phenomenon in our community.
The Goleta Butterfly Grove (also known as the Ellwood Main Monarch Aggregation site) is one of the largest overwintering locations in California. Adjacent to the Sperling Preserve on the Ellwood Mesa, the space includes 137 acres of natural terrain with designated nature trails that lead to the bluffs and beach. The City of Goleta runs one of only four Monarch Docent programs in California. Each year our trained docents are stationed at the Goleta Butterfly Grove on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning in November, to answer questions and provide visitors with information about monarchs and our Grove.
A trip to see the monarchs is a wonderful, family-friendly experience. The monarch season runs from mid-October through February, with peak butterfly counts typically occurring between Christmas and through January.
If you have any questions about the Grove or are interested in becoming a docent, please call 805-961-7571 or visit goletabutterflygrove.com where you can also find the latest butterfly counts starting in mid-November.