Gaviota State Park
Gaviota State Park is about 30 miles west of Santa Barbara. For the outdoor enthusiast the park offers a wide range of water sports and traditional activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Visitors can choose to fish from a historic pier, scuba dive in a marine conservation area, bag a 2461 foot peak, soak in the tepid waters of a hot spring or check out the tafoni displayed at the popular wind caves. The park’s campground has 39 sites that can be reserved in advance. The campground is on level ground along a single loop. Sites have places to set up tents and can accommodate trailers up to 25 feet long and RVs up to 27 feet long. Small trees around the campground provide some privacy and shade, but most of the campground is open.
A pier on the west end of the beach is used by anglers. Scuba divers and surfers use a boat hoist on the pier to access the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. Visitors can explore the rugged upland portions of the park from various trail heads in the southern and northern ends of the park. Ambitious hikers can climb to Gaviota Peak that offers a spectacular view of the coast and the Channel Islands.
In the waters adjacent to Gaviota State Park, there is the Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA).
The terrain of this 2,742- acre park unit, with its steep mountains, narrow summits and narrow canyons, is representative of the geomorphology of the Santa Ynez-Sulphur Mountains Ecological Subregion. Plant communities and wildlife habitats characteristic of the Southern California Coast Ecological Region found within the park include coastal sage scrub, mixed chaparral, coastal oak woodland, coastal salt marsh, and annual and perennial grassland. Gaviota State Park was in the initial group of outstanding areas in California recommended by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. in 1929 for acquisition by the Department of Parks and Recreation. Gaviota State Park serves as an important wildlife corridor and habitat linkage to other protected lands in the vicinity including Los Padres National Forest.
Camp Store Hours
Make reservations Online or
by calling (800) 444-7275.
[2016: Pier is closed pending repairs due to storm damage]
PARK TRAIL HEADS →
Beach to Back Country Trail: Enter west of the park’s southern entrance
Gaviota Peak Trail: Enter on the north side of the park and east of Hwy 101
Las Cruces Trail: Enter on the north side of the park and west of Hwy 101
Learn More →
California State Parks: Gaviota State Park information
Gaviota State Park Brochure and map (PDF)
Article by Seth Smigelski at Hikespeak.com
Article at Oh, Ranger! web site