Natural Bridges to Lighthouse Field Loop

EASY 63 reviews

Natural Bridges to Lighthouse Field Loop is a 5.1 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, trail running, and nature trips.

5.1 miles
111 feet

kid friendly


nature trips

trail running




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 hour ago

Agree with other review about bridge being out at beginning of trail through greenery area, along plank boardwalk. Trail was marked closed but we kept going just to see then had to turn around at creek crossing (~20 feet across) where bridge was out. Went back then down Monarch Trail to West Cliff Dr. It is all sidewalk after that but the views are amazing and there are multiple access points to lower parts of the cliffs and many benches. Gorgeous!

bridge out
3 days ago

This trail does not exist! I am a volunteer docent at Natural Bridges, the first part is not passable by the wetlands to the beach at this time and does not lead to tide pools . The part to lighthouse field is just the sidewalk along the coast ...a lovely walk. There are no Monarch clusters at this time of year try mid October through January !

7 months ago

Heavy foot traffic but a must see section of the Santa Cruz area

8 months ago

Nice beach but lots of sand flies. used to be 3 arches, now only one remains

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Nice easy hike, minus the end. It was a bit of a steep climb to get to the beach that was hard with kids. Otherwise, pretty views and information/educational boards along the way.

Monday, January 01, 2018

It's an easy but beautiful hike. We even have the treat of seeing wild Monarch monarch butterflies nesting.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Took the trail few years back. Still remember the beautiful butter flies.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Very easy trail with great view of sunset

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Thursday, August 17, 2017

One of the best walks here in my hometown. It will not disappoint if you are looking for beautiful ocean views and people watching along Westcliff Dr. Natural Bridges beach is one of our best in my opinion come in the fall to see the Monarchs and the Great Whites.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Great place good hike

Monday, June 12, 2017

Quick, easy hike. Our favorite part was the section of the trail around the marshes. There is a great variety of plants, animals, and insects to observe. The signs are educational as well. This would be a good walk for kids, too.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The trail hasn't been maintained in a while. There was a few fallen trees and several broken bridges so we had to turn back several times.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Had an amazing time. Although the trail was not completely open we still enjoyed our selfs and the cliffs were beautiful. We Will be back for the butterflies in October.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

First time there. Very nice.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

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

Thursday, July 14, 2016

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

nature trips
Monday, February 10, 2014

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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

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

Sunday, May 05, 2013

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

3 months ago

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