Trip Planner USA  /  California  /  Orange County  /  Huntington Beach  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web
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.SettingThe 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.
Arrange your visit to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve and discover more family-friendly attractions in Huntington Beach using our Huntington Beach trip itinerary maker.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • If visiting any of our So. Cal beaches and you need a place to jog or walk try the Bolsa Chica Reserve. I walk or jog this path every morning. The sunrise is spectacular, the birds and fish are abunda...  read more »
  • Wedged between two roads, residential areas and a field oil (!), the so-called "ecological reserve" is really reduced to trickle. Is accessed by a bleak path in full hot sun and one time "inside", it is still difficult to see the contours of the reserve. A big pond enclosed by a concrete dam. A carpet of vessel full of trunks of dead trees. A few scattered trees, lots of bushes. See all kinds of birds: herons, cranes, vultures... but the ride itself is not very nice. The Sun is strong, no shade anywhere and the landscape is not very varied. At the end of a short loop at the water's edge, it leads to the dike to walk under a blazing sun. There have been more sympathetic.
    show original
  • Beautiful walk on nice and marked trails. We saw Blue Harons, Sting Rays, and plenty of different birds and fish. Beautiful wetlands and nice trails. 
  • Tranquil. Serene. Wildlife. Free. What's not to love? Often there are lots of photographers on the PCH side of the bridge to take photos of wildlife. But if you like to do the trek, I prefer parking on the Warner side. Both sides have free parking. It's a self guided tour of the hike showing you the different greens along the way. I've done a short loop here and from what I could remember, it was 3.4 miles according to my Garmin. There's no elevation, strollers are not allowed, lots of walkers often come here as does a lot of school kids on a bus. Please keep this place nice and clean. Also please don't ever make housing at this sactuary, it's the shortest getaway from reality that I can think of.
  • Very wonderful to have a hiking or running here. A fresh air and the smell of lagoon make me remember my hometown. Bringing a peaceful feeling.
  • It's really pretty! I went there with my cross country team to practice and i enjoyed it because the view was awesome and it was peaceful 😊
  • Honestly, this place will probably give me cancer due to all the oil derricks and chemicals in the air etc, but it's still awesome to think that HB kept this as a preserve. I feel it was driven by oil money, but regardless, you see some pretty cool stuff coming through here.
  • Gorgeous unspoiled wetlands. One of the few left in California. Great bird-watching too.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 8​h
Visit for 3​h 30​m
Visit for 8​h
Visit for 4​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h