Copyright: - California State Parks
Unique rock formations at Natural Bridges SB
The park includes a large area of coastal scrub meadows, with bright native wildflowers in the spring. Moore Creek flows down to the ocean through these meadows, forming a wetlands in the sand.
The beach, with its famous natural bridge, is an excellent vantage point for viewing shore birds, migrating whales, and seals and otters playing offshore. Further along the beach, tidepools offer a glimpse of life beneath the sea. Low tides reveal sea stars, crabs, sea anemones, and other colorful ocean life.
- From mid-October through the end of February, the Monarchs form a "city in the trees." The park's mild ocean air and eucalyptus grove provide a safe roost until spring. In the spring and summer, the butterflies live in the valley regions west of the Rocky Mountains where milkweed, the only plant a Monarch caterpillar eats, is plentiful. .
Visitors are asked to observe the following guidelines: Do not touch or throw objects at the fragile butterflies. For everyone's enjoyment, no smoking, dogs, bicycles, skates, or skateboards on the boardwalk. Quiet please. Monarchs and other visitors are relaxing..
The Visitor Center highlights local natural history, and the bookstore has a selection of butterfly shirts, postcards and books for all ages. Next to the park's Visitor Center there is a demonstration milkweed patch that often hosts caterpillars and chrysalises
Recreation - Picnic tables with barbecues and water faucets are located beneath the eucalyptus trees around the main parking lot. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are three restroom facilities. There is a day-use fee per car to park within the state beach area.
Tours: Docent-led butterfly, tidepool and nature trail tours are available. Large groups should reserve beach use and tours by phone at least 2 weeks in advance. Special event reservations should be made at least 1 month in advance. Monarch tours are conducted on weekends from mid-October through February. "Welcome Back Monarchs Day" in October and the Migration Festival in February celebrate the butterflies' arrival and departure. Visitors can view the over-wintering Monarchs by walking down the park's wheelchair and stroller-accessible boardwalk to an observation deck in the eucalyptus grove
Climate - Climate in the San Francisco-Bay area varies greatly with elevation and the amount of coastal influence. Areas with more coastal influence experience moderate temperatures year round with fog likely from June through mid-August. Plan your coastal visit in the late summer or fall to ensure the best conditions for viewing the scenery. Also, occasional clear days between winter and spring storms are incomparable. Areas further inland experience greater temperature extremes, with relatively cooler winters and hot summers. Inland areas often receive frost on winter nights. As throughout most of California most of the precipitation comes in the winter months, with April through October normally very dry.
Take Swift Avenue west from Highway One, or follow West Cliff Drive north along the in-town bluffs until it ends at Natural Bridges.