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Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve?


The reserve is approximately 1,400 acres, representing one of the largest remaining salt water marshes in California.

Where do I start my visit to Bolsa Chica?

Begin your visit to the ecological reserve at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy’s Interpretive Center located at 3842 Warner Avenue in Huntington Beach, CA. At 1,400 square feet, the Center showcases information and educational displays about the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, nearby watersheds and marine ecology. It has live animal exhibits, tactile and hands-on educational exhibits, maps and literature about the area. The Center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Can I walk my dog?

Dogs are not allowed on the reserve except for inside of a vehicle in the parking lots. Guide dogs are allowed.

Am I allowed to fish anywhere?

Fishing is not permitted in the designated area at this time.

Are bicycles allowed?

Bicycles are not allowed on the trails of the reserve.

How long are the Trails?

There are about five miles of trails that you can walk at Bolsa Chica. Click here for a trail map.

Where can I park?

There are two parking lots at the reserve: 3842 Warner Ave, HB (Warner and PCH) and 18000 Pacific Coast Hwy, HB (across from Bolsa Chica State Beach entrance). There is no charge to park or walk the trails.

What kind of animals will I see on the trails?

Bolsa Chica hosts over 300 species of birds! You can also find several species of marine life, reptiles, and mammals while exploring the reserve!

Are there Rattlesnakes?

Yes, Bolsa Chica is home to Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, both of which are venomous. Click here for more information and the Do’s and Don’ts when walking in rattlesnake territory.

What are all the flags and cages for?

The flags designate newly-planted vegetation and the cages help to prevent herbivory (keeps rabbits and squirrels from eating them!).

What kind of fish are in Bolsa Chica?

We have many species of fish that use the wetlands for habitat and as a food resource. Click here to see a list of species.

Can I bring my kayak/boat/paddle board in here?

All watercraft is prohibited in the wetlands unless permitted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Do you give tours?

We offer a free Public Tour on the second Saturday of each month from 10am-12pm and meet at the Interpretive Center (3842 Warner Ave, HB). We also offer private tours for groups. Call 714-846-1114 to sign up!

I want to bring my students to the wetlands. Who do I contact?

Contact Conservancy staff at 714-846-1114 or info@bolsachica.org.

How do I get involved?

We offer several volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy including hosting at our Interpretive Center, leading tours, helping with habitat restoration, and assisting with outreach. Click here for more information on volunteer opportunities.

Can I get community service hours here?

You can get community service hours on our Public Service days on the last Saturday of each month from 9am-12pm. Meet at the Interpretive Center (3842 Warner Ave, HB) and remember to wear closed-toe shoes and bring any paperwork you need us to sign.

Who do I call about an injured animal?

The Wetland and Wildlife Care Center located at 21900 Pacific Coast Hwy, HB can accept certain injured or abandoned animals that are dropped off. They can be reached at 714-374-5587. For all other inquires, call OC Animal Control at 714-935-6848.

How can I report a violation at the Reserve?

Call the DFW CalTip hotline at 888-334-2258 and include a description of violator, nature of violation, location, vehicle license plate number, etc.

When are the trails and Interpretive Center open?

The trails are open from 6am-8pm every day; the Interpretive Center is open from 9am-4pm every day.

When is the best time to visit?

Morning and early evening are the best times to see wildlife. For more information on the best times to see birds, click here.

Can I bring a stroller or wheelchair onto the trails?



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