Monarch Butterflies – California Trip
Explore the Western Monarch Sanctuaries
Old-Growth Forests and Migrations
Saturday to Saturday (one week)
January 18-25, 2014
Each autumn, Monarch butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains migrate to the coast of California to spend the winter. In their journey, they pass through old- growth forests of Douglas-fir, Western Red Cedar, and most spectacularly, Redwoods and Sequoias. On this tour, we visit California’s monarch sanctuaries and rugged seacoast. We experience some of the largest and oldest living organisms on the planet, the Sequoias.
We investigate the migration of monarchs, birds and mammals (elephant seals, sea lions, gray whales), while exploring the ecology, geology and history of the west coast. We also explore California’s historic connection to Mexico and its indigenous past as well as the ecological writings of John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts.
This trip is sponsored by Monarch Teacher Network… a program of the Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC), a New Jersey public agency. EIRC has provided educational programs and services to NJ schools since 1968. See www.eirc.org or www.MonarchTeacherNetwork.org for more information. EIRC staff members Erik Mollenhauer and/or Brian Hayes will lead this trip. Teachers can receive New Jersey professional development credits for participating in this trip.
Saturday Day 1: (Jan 18): Arrive in San Francisco. Transfer to our hotel in downtown San Francisco; early arrivals can explore parts of San Francisco. Our group will meet at the hotel at 6 pm for trip instruction and dinner suggestions.
Sunday Day 2: Breakfast at our hotel. Travel by charter bus or van south to Salinas to explore the John Steinbeck Museum and have lunch. Then we are off to Pismo Beach to explore one of the largest monarch colony in California. Dinner and hotel along the cliffs of Pismo Beach, with an evening walk on the beach exploring.
Monday Day 3: Hotel breakfast, then we wind our way north on the famous Route 1 highway, with stunning views of the rugged California coast. Stops along the way to explore tidal pools at San Simeon and the elephant seal colonies of Piedras Blancas, watching for sea otters, migrating gray whales and exotic west coast birds. Picnic lunch at Sand Dollar Beach and a walk along the “jade coast”, followed by a walk in towering redwoods near Big Sur. Dinner/hotel in Monterey.
Tuesday Day 4: Breakfast at our hotel, then visit to the butterfly colony and natural history museum of Pacific Grove (Butterfly Town, USA). Lunch at Carmel-by-the-Sea, then off to Point Lobos with its rugged coast, sea life and old-growth Cypress forest. Return to our hotel in Monterey and dinner.
Wednesday Day 5: Hotel breakfast, then a visit to Andrew Molera State Park, another butterfly colony in different habitat. We finish with a walk to a cove along the coast. Then back to Monterey and the world-famous Monterey Aquarium and Cannery Row, inspiration for John Steinbeck’s book of that name. Lunch and afternoon at the aquarium at your own pace. Dinner in Monterey.
Thursday Day 6: Breakfast at hotel. Then we head north making a stop at Moss Landing for a Sea Lion colongy. On to Hery Cowell State Park’s coastal redwoods as we learn how many teachers we can fit inside one giant redwood tree. Lunch in Felton before we visit Ano Nuevo Park and walk along its spectacular beaches and cliffs, exploring the local elephant seals, sealife and geology. Dinner and hotel in San Francisco.
Friday Day 7: Hotel breakfast, then early departure for Muir Woods and its ancient redwoods. Explore the importance of old-growth to butterflies, other animals and people, as we experience the spiritual nature of these “grandfathers” of the forest. Then on to Point Reyes National Park following the trace of the San Andreas fault. Afternoon includes an interpretive walk along a section of the San Andreas fault and a visit to “Drake’s Bay” where Sir Francis Drake stopped in 1579 as he sailed around the world in The Golden Hind if weather permits. Farewell dinner in San Francisco.
Saturday Day 8 (Jan 25): Hotel breakfast, then transfer to airport for flight home.
Itinerary may change based on weather and local conditions or to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. Note local time is 3 hours behind Eastern Time. WIFI is available at most locations and hotels.
Please ask about trip details such as cost. email@example.com or 856.582.7000 x110
Click here for more information on the details of the trip: California 2014 Trip Brochure
Click here to download the application for the 2013 trip: California Monarch trip application – 2014
If you have attended a MTN workshop, you are eligible to receive a fellowship to help reduce the cost of the trip. Fellowships are given out based on many factors such as the availability of money each year, the number of applicants, and other factors including the strength of the application. Find out more information in the following form: Fellowship Application Form – 2014