Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Huntington Beach, California 92649

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Professional Review and Guide

"The Bolsa Chica tidal basin encompasses 1,300 wetland acres and 300 mesa acres between Seal Beach and Huntington Beach along the Pacific coast at the northwest end of Orange County. The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a 557-acre protected wildlife habitat within the Bolsa Bay wetlands, which runs parallel to Bolsa Chica State Beach. The preserve, established in 1973, has inter-tidal mudflats, salt flats, salt marsh communities, ponds, grasslands, lowland dunes, two bird nesting islands, and flood control channels.

The area is located along the Pacific Flyway, a 2,000-mile migratory bird route between Alaska and Latin America. This hike begins near the Outer Bay and loops around the slough, passing interpretive panels and overlooks with benches for wildlife viewing. The route makes a long loop parallel to Highway 1. Directly across the highway is the state beach."

More Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Professional Reviews and Guides

"During the 1920s, oil was discovered at Bolsa Chica. Dikes were built, water drained, wells drilled, roads spread across the marsh. In fact, oil production is scheduled to continue through the year 2020. Portions of the marsh bordering Pacific Coast Highway have been restored by the state and are now part of an ecological reserve under Department of Fish and Game management. This loop trail takes you on a tour of the most attractive section. Bring your binoculars. Birdwatching is often quite good here."

"This short hike makes a loop around this restored estuary and offers wonderful opportunities to observe a wide variety of bird species.

Bolsa Chica features an easy, wheelchair-accessible trail along a newly restored estuary that offers ample wildlife viewing and is perfect for a short family outing. Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park offer longer and more challenging hikes into the coastal hills and canyons."

"Despite being sandwiched between the busy Pacific Coast Highway and a field of active oil derricks, the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a valuable wetland that is considered one of the best birding spots in the state. Several miles of paved paths around a water inlet make this a haven not only for birders but also for power walkers and families."

"This hike makes a loop around Bolsa
Chica Slough. Binoculars, spotting scopes, and/or cameras are de rigueur, of course."

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Reviews

3
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
icon4 Total
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
9/11/2018
Beautiful place. Lots to see.
0
Comments
2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars2 out of 5 stars
9/28/2004
Being right next to PCH in Huntington Beach does take alot away from this trail but it has come along way. Great trail for bird watchers.
0
Comments
3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars3 out of 5 stars
6/28/2004
0
Comments
1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars1 out of 5 stars
3/25/2004
DONT GO
0
Comments

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve Photos

Trail Information

Huntington Beach
Nearby City
Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Accessibility
3
Distance
Minimal
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
1.5 hours
Duration
Year-round
Best Times
U.S.G.S. Seal Beach
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018