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Welcome to the City of Goleta's Monarch Butterfly website,
where you can find all the info you need to make your visit to the grove.



As a result of a tree health assessment performed as part of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan, the City recently learned that a significant number of trees in the Ellwood Mesa are dead or dying. Many of the dead and dying eucalyptus trees in the forest were severely impacted by the drought which increased their vulnerability to pests. In an abundance of caution, and at the advice of the City’s insurer, trails leading to the butterfly grove will be temporarily closed due to the potential for falling trees. The City will need to remove several hundred dead or dying trees and trim others to protect the safety of the public as well as that of the healthy trees.  Before planning any visit to the Ellwood Mesa and Goleta Butterfly Grove, we recommend you check here for updates on closures.  Routes to the beach remain open.  The trail map identifying closures can be found here

Monarchs are usually found in Goleta from mid-November through mid-February and our docents are available on weekends in these months.  The Grove is open for viewing every day during daylight hours and there is no admission fee.   Plan your trip.


The Goleta Butterfly Grove (Ellwood Main) is in the Sperling Preserve on the Ellwood Mesa in Goleta, CA.  Free parking is available.  GPS: 34.429018, -119.897017. Get directions.

The History

The area and the monarch site are named after Ellwood Cooper, who settled with his family here in 1870.  Cooper grew olives, walnuts, grapes, almonds, oranges, lemons and Japanese persimmons on his large ranch. This created a very favorable setting for the yearly visitation of monarchs to our area.  Find more information here.


During the cool early mornings, you can see the largest amount of butterflies.  However they are most active on warm afternoon.  Check our weather icon at the bottom of the page to see what today’s weather is.