Natural Bridges State Beach Exploration

EASY 9 reviews

Natural Bridges State Beach Exploration is a 3.3 mile loop trail located near Santa Cruz, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

3.3 miles 173 feet Loop

kid friendly


nature trips




wild flowers


no dogs

Explore tidepools and beach habitat at Natural Bridges State Park, a beautiful and popular place to walk. In this oasis between the ocean and the edge of Santa Cruz lies one of the largest monarch butterfly overwintering sites in the western United States. The park also includes large coastal scrub meadows that in spring are filled with native wildflowers. In 1983, California State Parks made the monarch grove a natural preserve and sanctuary for these fragile world travelers. Monarchs journey as far as 2,000 miles on their paper-thin wings, seeking protected places like this one where they can find food, warmth and shelter. This grove provides the ideal conditions for the butterflies—and for you to see them. Look through the spotting scope to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking sight of hundreds of monarchs clustered together in the canopy. The park also includes large coastal scrub meadows that in spring are filled with native wildflowers. Moore Creek flows through the meadows and forms wetlands in the sand. Walk even further along the bluffs when it is low tide.

1 month ago

1 month ago

Gorgeous views, but more of a walk. Great little beach area and a lovely waterfall. Watch out for the naked guy in the rocks.

6 months ago

Easy, breezy hike along the ocean with beautiful views of natural rock formations. Can walk farther along rocks in low tide.

9 months ago

11 months ago

1 year ago

nature trips
2 years ago

Natural Bridges State Park is a great destination for relaxation and puttering about the beach. Almost every time I visit Santa Cruz, I typically like to take friends here to lay on the beach or explore tidepools. In the winter, there's migratory monarch butterflies watching too, although their numbers have decline significantly in recent years.

3 years ago

Monarch butterfly's come in October to march. Nice trail that ends at the beach with amazing views

3 years ago

Great variety of stuff to do! Had a fantastic time with my family today.