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Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach

(4.7/5 based on 180+ 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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great spot to get a break from city life, get exercise, and see beautiful birds. Canadian geese were on the path today and they are not scared! Not busy during the week.  more »
  • My father grew up on this beach. It is awesome, but primitive. Bring all your supplies, there are no stores, grills, tables, etc... A true beach with no glitz or glam. a perfect hideaway.  more »
  • The reserve is just off Pacific Coast Highway and Warner in Huntington Beach. It's a nice walk where you will see several Snowy Egrets, ducks and other birds. The trail is very flat and not too bad af...  more »
Google
  • If you're a nature lover like myself, this is a great place to stop along the side of Pacific Coast Highway in Bolsa Chica. The parking lot is right at the trailhead, with a beautiful beach scenery across the way. The sunsets make a beautiful view as you walk the trail and a bit of history is given on signs along trail path. Love this place.
  • A beautiful natural protected area. My daughter and I really enjoy to hike here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.