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Visit Monarch Butterfly Groves along Highway 1

From the folks at Highway 1 Road Trip: What’s orange and black and flutters all over? Western Monarch butterflies, of course! These butterflies migrate twice per year, like birds. Many other butterfly species can survive cold winters, but Monarchs can't. To stay warm enough, they winter in a favorite Monarch butterfly grove along the Highway 1 Road Trip each year between October and February.

During this time, clusters of their orange wings cover the trees in Monarch butterfly groves in Pismo Beach, Nipomo, Los Osos and Morro Bay. Researchers have counted up to 230,000 Monarch butterflies in a single season at the Pismo State Beach Butterfly Grove. When the weather warms up for spring, the butterflies migrate north, with some traveling over 1,000 miles to reach their next migration point. Western Monarchs live west of the Rockies and migrate up and down the West Coast, between southern Canada and San Diego.

The best location to view and photograph Western Monarch butterflies is Natural Bridges State Park.



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