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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.


The Ellwood Main Monarch Aggregation Site (aka Goleta Butterfly Grove) is closed indefinitely.  As a result of a tree health assessment performed as part of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan, the City learned in the Summer of 2017 that hundreds of trees in the Ellwood Mesa are dead or dying. Many of these trees were severely impacted by the drought which increased their vulnerability to pests. Trails to the butterfly aggregation sites are closed.  However, several trails to the beach remain open.  The trail map can be found here. Before planning any visit to the Ellwood Mesa, we recommend you check our project page here.  


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.