Natural Bridges State Beach

Santa Cruz, California 95064

Natural Bridges State Beach

Natural Bridges State Beach Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Natural Bridges State Beach overlooks the ocean on the west edge of Santa Cruz. The 54-acre park was named for three picturesque offshore rock formations with water-carved arches. The last of the three natural stone bridges collapsed after the devastating 1 989 earthquake, but the gorgeous rock sculptures still remain. Along the shore is a sandy, half-moon beach backed by a large lagoon fed by Moore Creek. At the west end of the beach are rock terraces filled with tidepools in shallow depressions. Near the center of the park is a eucalyptus grove which attracts an annual monarch butterfly migration. The renowned site is home to one of the largest populations of wintering monarch butter- flies in the United States (September through February). This hike loops around the state park on an interpretive trail through the diverse habitats."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes with Kids: San Francisco Bay Area (The Mountaineers Books)
Laure Latham
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"Hike through a protected grove of monarch butterflies to a spectacular beach"

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Trail Information

Santa Cruz
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
45 minutes
USGS: Santa Cruz
Local Maps