Monarch Butterflies (Natural Bridges) + 7 miles Coastal Hike (Wilder Ranch)

  • November 30, 2013 · 10:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Second address to meet after Natural Bridges (just a few minutes away):

Wilder Ranch State Park

1401 Coast Rd, Santa Cruz, CA (edit map)


OPTIONAL LATE LUNCH/EARLY DINNER PLACE (after the hike)

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing - Ever had organic beer? This is your chance! This is a place the guys will really appreciate. Not big on the food menu but big in beer. 

http://www.scmbrew.com

http://www.scmbrew.com/userfiles/files/food-menu.pdf

402 Ingalls St. Santa Cruz

(Swift Street Courtyard, at corner of Swift and Ingalls)


Join Kimberly and I in this incredible journey that Monarch butterflies experience every year to complete their own circle of life. Natural Bridges is the resting stop for hundreds of thousands of them and we could not ask for a more beautiful place to go and visit them. After our "goodbyes" and "farewells" we will drive to Wilder Ranch, just a few miles away and hike along the coast while enjoying the amazing views. Weather is the only thing that will cancel this event, so keep your fingers and toes crossed. You will want to bring your camera :)

Bring a heavy jacket for it may be windy on the coast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHWaeEsixT0  VERY GOOD VIDEO to become familiar with these little fellows

Meeting Point

Take Swift Avenue west from Highway 1 til the end.  Turn right on West Cliff Drive north along the in-town bluffs until it ends at Natural Bridges.  Drive into the park near the visitor center and park in the main parking lot.

Click >> Monarch Butterfly Meeting Point Google Map

GPS Coordinates: [masked], [masked]

After our trip to see the Monarch Butterflies, we will meet again at the Wilder Ranch State Park. We will meet at the main parking lot.

Click >> Wilder Ranch SP Hike Meeting Point Google Map

GPS Coordinates: [masked],[masked]

Hike:

Dress warm as there may be strong winds.  Rain will cancel, so please check this page before going on the hike.  Bring flashlight just in case it gets dark before we can get back.

We will visit the Wilder Ranch, take the Wilder Ridge, Enchanted and Baldwin Loops back to the beach and walk along the cliffs back to the parking lot.

Click >> Wilder Ranch SP Map

In brief: 
7.7 mile partial loop on grassy hills above the ocean. Popular with mountain bikers.

Distance, category, and difficulty: 
This 7.7 mile hike is moderately easy, with about 900 feet in elevation change. Park elevation ranges from sea level to 1200 feet at the northern boundary. Elevation changes are gradual. Distance, category, and difficulty:

Getting there: 
From CA 1 in Santa Cruz County (about 6.5 miles south of Davenport/6 miles south of Bonny Doon Road), turn right into the park. Proceed past the entrance kiosk to the parking lot

Feature Hike:

Mile: 
0.0: Start at the edge of the parking lot near the restrooms, on a paved trail, following the signs to the historic buildings and backcountry trails. 
0.1: Paved trail joins a service road. Turn right. 
0.1: Junction. Turn left and head through the historic area. 
0.4: Tunnel under CA 1. Welcome to the backcountry. 
0.5: Two part junction. Bear left each time, onto Wilder Ridge Loop Trail. 
1.3: Junction. Continue straight/right. 
2.0: Junction with Twin Oaks Trail. Turn right. 
2.6: Undersigned fork. Stay to the right. 
2.8: Junction with Eucalyptus Loop Trail. Turn left. 
3.0: First in a series of confusing junctions. Turn left, and after a few steps, left again. 
3.2: More junction madness. Turn left onto Wilder Ridge Loop Trail. 
3.3: At a horseshoe bend, junction with other leg of Twin Oaks Trail. Continue to the right on Wilder Ridge Loop Trail. 
3.8: Junction with Zane Gray Cutoff. Turn right. 
4.6: Zane Gray Cutoff ends at Wilder Ridge Loop Trail. Continue straight/left. 
6.4: Familiar junction. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the trailhead. 
7.6: Back at the trailhead. 

http://www.bahiker.com/southbayhikes/wilder.html

http://www.bahiker.com/slideshows/south/wilderpics.html

http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/549/files/WilderRanchWebBrochure2009.pdf

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  • Kimberly

    Wow! Amazing Photos! We've got some turly talented photographers in the group.

    2 · December 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Stop calling obscene names... Turly yours...

      December 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I meant truly yours...

      1 · December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The pictures are stunning and the day was amazing :-). Happy Thanksgiving and thank you Nieves, John and Kimberly!

    December 1, 2013

  • Nieves

    Thank you all for coming and sharing such a wonderful day. The photos are great and provide the opportunity to see parts that we missed or see them under different perspectives. This was one of my top 20 days this year! :)

    2 · December 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice combination of inland and ocean views.

    December 1, 2013

  • Patricia W.

    Thank you so much for taking us to these two great places John and Nieves. Nature Bridges is not new to me but it's the first time I learned how to appreciate it. One surprise after another at the Wilder Ranch; especially awesome for the photography lovers like me. Great group and I truly had a wonderful day.

    3 · December 1, 2013

    • Eric B.

      I have been going there for years and I learned some new things again yesterday too! Great group...!

      1 · December 1, 2013

  • David

    It was great seeing everyone. My Kids and I had a great time

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • Nancy

    The pictures really captured the beauty of the day!

    1 · December 1, 2013

  • Nieves

    Forgot to mention… Bring comfy shoes for the hike to Wilder Ranch. It is pretty flat and easy but you still need comfy shoe-shoes :)

    1 · November 26, 2013

    • Thomas

      I'd like to see that too lol

      November 26, 2013

    • John S.

      You would tower over me :-)

      December 1, 2013

  • Kimberly

    To John & John...don't be discourged by the number of photos. Please please post your shots when you have them ready. Looking forward to seeing them.

    1 · November 30, 2013

    • John S.

      Since I was using only the long telephoto lens, it has been interesting to see the different views that the wide angle photographers were seeing. I've posted a couple of the many dolphin shots I took, and a couple of the butterflies. The lighting on the butterflies was pretty challenging, I had trouble getting a shot which was in tack sharp focus since the branches were moving around. I had a blast and learned a lot.

      1 · December 1, 2013

    • John S.

      Momma and Bambi at Rancho San Antonio on Friday. http://photos1.meetup...­

      1 · December 1, 2013

  • Mark B

    Beautiful day with interesting photos. Many great ones already on site. Just posted a few that start around page 5. Great company! Had fun all around.

    November 30, 2013

    • Kimberly

      Mark, I move most of your photos to page one. I wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see them. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks everyone for sharing the day and photos with us!!!

      3 · November 30, 2013

    • Sharona

      Great Pictures Mark!!! Really amazing. I had such a wonderful time meeting everybody..The.weather was perfect!. Looking forward to see you all very soon. :)

      3 · December 1, 2013

  • Eric B.

    Great time with a great group>>>

    November 30, 2013

  • Frank

    No butterflies to speak of, but it was a beautiful day and I had a lot of fun throughout the day!

    November 30, 2013

    • Kimberly

      What do you mean no Butterflies....You needed to stop looking at all the pretty ladies for a second and look up...Silly boy.

      3 · November 30, 2013

  • Kimberly

    Great day and the Greatest company.

    2 · November 30, 2013

  • Yesenia

    Thank u Nieves for organizing such a great hike and thank u John for explaining about the Monarc Butterflies :)

    1 · November 30, 2013

  • Viviana

    Thank John for explaining us all about the monarch butterflies. I am impressed with the beautiful pictures in your website! Great job!

    1 · November 30, 2013

  • Chip E.

    I am bummed! I have been looking forward to this one for months! I just got the word, I have an emergency at work and I won't be able to make this one, take pictures!

    November 29, 2013

    • John S.

      Aye aye!

      November 29, 2013

    • John S.

      Pictures taken. The big surprise for me was the dolphins at Wilder Ranch. And the gourmet beer and dinner Thanks for organizing this trip!

      November 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Both were spectacular in their own way. There is nothing like being eye-level with a pelican hovering on thermals, or seeing thousands of Monarch butterflies keeping warm together.

    1 · November 30, 2013

  • Viviana

    I had a great time! Thank you Nieves for organizing this outing. The weather was beautiful! It was good to see everyone and meet new ones ;)

    November 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Walking by road #1 to our meeting ☺ Anybody can give me a lift?? Call[masked]

    November 30, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Had little problem with my car. Still going by road #1 north. Anybody, can pick me up

      November 30, 2013

    • Yesenia

      We're on 1 North

      November 30, 2013

  • Thomas

    Not up for it today, Sorry and have fun

    November 30, 2013

  • Frank

    I'm coming from San Mateo County, (Belmont) so if anyone wants to carpool from this area please LMK, (let me know) AND... (if it works for you) I'd be up for connecting at the 14777 Los Gatos Blvd. Starbuck's (Los Gatos) too! It's just off Hwy. 85 & near Hwy. 17; THX.

    November 24, 2013

    • Frank

      Thanks Patricia, at least I know SOMEBODY will be there...

      November 30, 2013

    • Viviana

      Hi Frank, I would like to carpool with you as well and come back early if I get a ride before lunch. Thank you!

      November 30, 2013

  • Nieves

    Hello Fellow Butterfliers,
    There is a $10.00 for parking fee. Please, update your RSVP if your plans to attend have changed. Thanks and hope to see you all soon.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1 · November 26, 2013

    • Yesenia

      Thank u for the info and Happy Turkey Day to U To and every one

      November 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Is the parking fee at Natural Bridges, Wilder Park, or both?

      November 29, 2013

  • Barry

    Sorry need to cancel...

    November 29, 2013

  • Nieves

    CARPOOLING:
    Those interested in carpooling a possible location to meet:
    Starbucks at Plaza de Los Gatos Shopping Center
    442 N Santa Cruz Ave
    Los Gatos, CA 95030

    November 11, 2013

    • Frank

      It's a 35-40 minute drive to Natural Bridges State Beach:
      2531 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, so we should allow an hour, and leave this carpool location at 9:30. I'll drive if need be, leave @ 9:30, and stay for the OPTIONAL LATE LUNCH/EARLY DINNER.

      November 29, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I may want to carpool but waiting to hear if I'm meeting someone in Santa Cruz after hike. If I'm not there by 9:30, leave without me.

      November 29, 2013

  • David

    I will have my kids tomorrow. We will meet all of you there an do part of the walk

    November 29, 2013

  • Jojo V.

    Bummer! I am working tomorrow and I was looking forward to this hike! Hope we will do this again. Have fun guys!

    November 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If anyone would like to carpool from San Jose, but leave at 3:45 pm, please email me directly and we'll arrange to meet at the Los Gatos P&R. I'm happy to drive. Thank you, John, for providing the map! (BTW, Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behavior" is an appropos read for this outing!)

    November 13, 2013

    • Sharona

      Hi Patty,

      November 29, 2013

    • Sharona

      Thank you - I will be there :-)

      November 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to miss this...have to work!

    November 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to be missing this special event! Will be busy performing in The Nutcracker......hoping there is a repeat of this hike, as it sounds great! Have fun butterfliers....Happy Thanksgiving and hope to catch you soon.

    November 25, 2013

  • Monica

    Family plans, my one free day to spend with my boys home from college.... have a great hike, enjoy!

    November 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I still want to go on this great outing but need to return to SJ by 4:30 for an SJ repertory play. Would the Wilder ranch hike conclude by 3:30 or 4?

    November 11, 2013

    • Sharona

      Hi Patty,

      November 21, 2013

    • Sharona

      Hi Patty, I would love to carpool with you. I also need to be back by 3:30 in San Jose.

      November 21, 2013

  • Rita M.

    Hey Guys, Enjoy the monarchs and the hike. Family plans, have to cancel. See you on another trial and Happy Thanksgiving!!

    November 13, 2013

  • Nieves

    Hello Fellow Butterfliers,
    I am changing our visit to 10:30 (an hour later) for I heard from one of the members who already went to visit them that they are not very active early in the morning but they "wake-up" later in the morning. I hope this change does not affect your visiting them. Remember that we also plan to do an easy hike at Wilder Ranch: flat terrain with gorgeous coastal vista and visit to little coves and beaches. Last time, we saw plenty of dolphins and wild life. Bring layers, a warm jacket, plenty of water and comfy shoes.

    November 11, 2013

    • Debbie

      Later is better for the butterflies, thanks. The temp needs to over 60 degrees for them to fly. If temps are below 60, or windy conditions, they stay clustered in the trees with their wings closed, and are difficult to see, since the underside of their wings are brown/tan, just like the eucalyptus trees. So hope for great weather !! http://www.thatsmypar...­

      1 · November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here is the link for Patty's suggested free unlimited park in northside lot, Los Gatos.
    [masked] Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
    Link: <https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q...

    November 11, 2013

  • Kristin

    bummer, I just realized that this is Thanksgiving weekend, so I'll be out of town with family. I was really looking forward to this hike, darn!

    November 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Forgot to add that there is a free park & ride lot just off Highway 9 past University Ave. that is great for carpoolers.

    November 11, 2013

  • Daniel

    Gosh darn! All day work that day!

    October 31, 2013

  • Nieves

    Sorry, I meant 9:30 am :) I am not sure when it will be over. It depends on the people coming and whether or not they are planning on going to the brewery to eat, The hike is 7 miles (about 3 hours).

    July 30, 2013

  • Marjorie

    I assume you meant 9:30 a.m. :)

    July 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, nice trip idea...Need clarity on the time?..Did you mean to say 9:30 PM? to 12;30 am....then, "just in case it gets dark before we get back," (It will be dark at 9:30 PM in November...) More soon. Patti

    July 30, 2013

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