Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach

4.7
#3 of 9 in Parks in Huntington Beach
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is a nature reserve in the city of Huntington Beach, California. It is designated by the California Department of Fish and Game to protect a coastal wetland, with its resident threatened and endangered species. "Bolsa Chica" means "little bag" in Spanish, as the area was part of a historic Mexican land grant named Rancho La Bolsa Chica. The Reserve is also called many other names, including Bolsa Chica Lowlands, Bolsa Chica Wetlands, and Bolsa Chica Wildlife Refuge.
The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve boundaries are Warner Avenue to the north, Seapoint Avenue to the south, Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to the west, and residential development to the east.
There are two small parking lots: the north lot southeast of the intersection of Warner and PCH, and the south lot on PCH across from the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. The north lot contains the Bolsa Chica Interpretive Center. It is the starting point for the Mesa Trail, which leads to the overlook and rest stop at Mesa Point. The south lot is the starting point for the 1.5mi Loop Trail, which crosses a wooden bridge, passes two overlooks, and returns to the parking lot via a sand-dune trail paralleling PCH.
The East Garden Grove Wintersburg Channel runs through the Reserve. Beginning in December 2007, flood control improvements were made by the County of Orange to reinforce the levees damaged in the rains of 2005 and protect the wetlands. In addition, the Newport–Inglewood Fault goes through the reserve.
Plan to visit Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve during your Huntington Beach vacation using our convenient Huntington Beach day trip site.
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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
291 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Just spent 6 days in the area and visited here 5 times, and never did the same walk twice. Two parking lots, one on the PCH the other on Warner, and multiple paths from each gives you at least 10... 
    Just spent 6 days in the area and visited here 5 times, and never did the same walk twice. Two parking lots, one on the PCH the other on Warner, and multiple paths from each gives you at least 10...  more »
  • A short hike great for anyone interested in wetland ecology. Lots of wildlife can be seen throughout the hike. Fairly clean, although saw a few manmade objects in the water with barnacles growing... 
    A short hike great for anyone interested in wetland ecology. Lots of wildlife can be seen throughout the hike. Fairly clean, although saw a few manmade objects in the water with barnacles growing...  more »
Google
  • A short, relaxing, and scenic walk through the weltands by the beach. Main path is pretty clean and there's several benches and good spots for taking pictures. There's free parking available at two lots here. Be aware dogs are not allowed in some of the trails here. Probably more recommended as a quick stop if you're in the area rather than making a trip out of going here, as its a pretty short walk. But still a great stop and definitely worth it.
  • Beautiful place for a little sunset walk. There is no trash can at all, so make sure you bring your trash back to your car. There were only 2 portable bathrooms at both parking lots, but they were locked when we were there so we had to cut the walk shorter…

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