When we first arrived we saw cars lining both sides of the street. Parking isn't perfect there but its worth the bit of walk to see these beautiful creatures. There is a fence you walk around and then you are there. The day we went there was a trailer selling all things Monarch. The trailer is open from 10 am to 4 pm daily and can answer all your related questions. A few feet from the trailer you walk into a butterfly wonderland. There is no cost to get into the grove and it leads to a path system you can walk to the beach from. The path takes you through a small campground with ponds filled with ducks. It had that familiar stale water with ducks smell too that reminded me of golf courses back in Utah. You can see the whole place in 30 minutes if you are looking for a quick stop or make it a day with a picnic and a kite on the beach. The beach is wide and open, perfect for running a kite. We saw a half dozen or so at any given time.
A typical butterfly only lives for six weeks. The last generation of the year goes into a special phase that can't reproduce until spring arrives. Because of this they don't use the energy they would to reproduce and they live in a cooler area that slows down their metabolism. These factors add up to a much longer life for them. These butterflies here can live for six months as they overwinter and prepare for the spring. At 11 am you can sit down for a quick talk about the Monarch life and the details about the grove. The volunteer docents are there to answer your questions or just tell you a few facts you didn't know. We missed the sit down but didn't feel at all like we missed out on information. There are signs around the grove telling you why the butterflies are there and what you would want to know. They even have a few spotting scopes out to get a close up view high up in the trees. Bring a camera and take a lot of pictures. This feels like a once in a lifetime experience even though you can come back every year.