5. Monarch Grove Sanctuary
Ridge Road (by the Butterfly Grove Inn)



  This tour is also available in a pdf version. Click here to open it.

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Google Map of the Monarch Grove Sanctuary


Go to Pacific Grove Monarch Conservancy or
Monarch Butterfly for more information

. Each October, amidst local celebrations which include a "Butterfly Parade," swarms of Monarch butterflies arrive in Pacific Grove--the end of a long trek from the Canadian Rockies and southern Alaska. Migrating here to escape the rigors of the northern winters, succeeding generations often return to the same eucalyptus trees year after year  



The butterflies attach themselves to the leaves in huge clusters, but are difficult to see during a chill or in damp weather, when they fold part of their wings and appear like clumps of dead leaves. Optimal viewing for activity is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on a sunny day. In March, the butterflies once more take wing. They return north, where the females lay their eggs, and die. 

There is a local ordinance which prohibits the molestation of these creatures, and anyone caught in the act is liable to a $1,000 fine and/or jail time.

Steinbeck heralds the strange phenomenon of the returning monarch butterflies and parodies the festivities honoring them :

"Pacific Grove benefits by one of those happy accidents of nature that gladden the heart, excite the imagination, and instruct the young. On a certain day in the shouting springtime great clouds of orangy Monarch butterflies, like twinkling aery fields of flowers, sail high in the air on a majestic pilgrimage across Monterey Bay and land in the outskirts of Pacific Grove in the pine woods." (Sweet Thursday, Chapter 38).
This tour is also available in a pdf version. Click here to open it.

Turn around on Ridge Road and go back to Lighthouse Avenue. Turn right and go straight back into town. On your left, you will see . . .