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Natural Bridges State Beach at Santa Cruz

I've been to the Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz twice this year - once with the 5 y.o. and once with the whole family and some friends. The second trip was a bit of a frost - we saw very few Monarch butterflies and the trails were closed, so this post is about our first trip only. We went at the beginning of November - the day started foggy but quickly cleared up. I parked outside the beach and the 5 y.o. and I walked in. There is plenty of parking outside, so unless you have older or smaller members, there is no reason to pay the $10 parking fee. Besides, if you drive all the way in, the walk is really small - it can no longer be called a hike :)

We started at the visitor center:

and made our way to the grove, where we saw hundreds of butterflies.

We then hiked around the park, through a marshy bit on the way to the beach. We saw a garter snake:

and lots of other wildlife:

We were pretty unlucky w.r.t Monarchs on our hike there a couple of days ago, so if you can, go in November, not December. If you do go in December, go late - let the day warm up a bit.

This post first appeared on Tread Rightly, please read the originial post: here

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Natural Bridges State Beach at Santa Cruz


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