Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
A remarkable destination for birdwatchers and anyone who loves the outdoors, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve represents the culmination of a decades-long effort by activists who battled to protect this wetlands ecosystem from development. After years of restoration work, you can now walk on five miles of trails, and spot both resident birds and transient species that use the wetlands as critical stopover while migrating along the Pacific Flyway. Nearly 200 species are regularly seen at the reserve, while another 116 less frequently seen species have also been spotted.
Stop by the Bolsa Chica Wetlands Interpretive Center off Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway to learn more about the wetlands, and for trail access into the reserve. You'll also find trail access from a parking lot on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway, a mile south of Warner Avenue across from the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. Both locations offer free limited parking for nature enthusiasts.
Tours of the wetlands are also given by three different conservation groups. For all tours, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and sun protection, and bring binoculars or a camera and bottled water.
- First Saturday of the Month - The Amigos de Bolsa Chica offers free tours from 9 am to 10:30 am on the first Saturday of each month. Meet in the parking lot off Pacific Coast Highway, across from the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. Docents will be stationed on or near the footbridge. Tours begin every 15 minutes and include five areas of interest: history, birds, endangered species, ecology, and restoration. Amigos de Bolsa Chica also offers other tours by reservation. For more information, call 714-840-1575 or visit the Amigos de Bolsa Chica website.
- Second Saturday of the Month - Tour the wetlands with the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Tours begin at the interpretive center off Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. Please wear closed-toe shoes. Bolsa Chica Conservancy also offers private tours of the wetlands to customize your learning experience. To schedule a tour or for more information, call 714-846-1114 or visit the Bolsa Chica Conservancy website.
- Third Sunday of the Month - Join the Bolsa Chica Land Trust for a free tour on the third Sunday of each month at 10 am. The two-hour tour begins in the parking lot off Pacific Coast Highway, across from the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. Learn about the history of Bolsa Chica, its wildlife, and plant life. Literature and merchandise will also be available. For more information, call 714-964-8170 or visit the Bolsa Chica Land Trust website.