By Sara Sedillo
They are back! The ever-so-mysterious invertebrates that cluster in masses, revealing a brilliant burst of orange and black.
The annual monarch butterfly migration is one of the most breathtaking spectacles in the insect world. Western monarchs from the Rocky Mountains start showing up along the coast of California in mid-October, and this year, enthusiasts say they are out in droves.
After shockingly low numbers in 2020, the endangered monarchs made a comeback that continued into 2022. However, experts say the rally may be cut short because of the past winter's destructive storm systems.
While some have gathered along Bay Area coastal areas, the largest number of clustering monarchs will be found by heading south to Santa Cruz.
An interactive map allows you to search areas of California to see where they are clustering. Here's where to find them:
- Pacific Grove’s butterfly grove near Monterey
- Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz
- Lighthouse Field State Beach in Santa Cruz
- Pismo State Beach in San Luis Obispo
- The Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont
- Coyote Hills Nectar Park in Fremont
- Berkeley Aquatic Park in Berkeley
- Albany Hill Park in Albany
- Lincoln Park in Alameda
Map of Western Monarch counts along the California Coast. Credit: Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation