Gaviota Peak Trail

MODERATE 32 reviews
#2 of 5 trails in

Gaviota Peak Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gaviota, CA that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

6.3 miles 2239 feet Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

hot springs

views

wild flowers

2 months ago

This hike was amazing minus the ticks along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous - both up Gaviota peak trail and down trespass trail. Highly recommended, especially in the early morning when there is some cloud cover.

hiking
7 months ago

Fun hike! I would suggest taking Trespass trail up to the peak and Gaviota trail to return

7 months ago

Great hike. Not a lot of people and full of wild flowers. The view of the ocean when you get to the top is gorgeous.

7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

My husband and 10 and 7 year old boys and I hiked this with a large group. We went up Tresspass and back down the same. Moderately strenuous. A long hike with the kids, but worth it once you arrive at the peak.

hiking
10 months ago

Whoever decided that this hike is easy is a LIAR! It's almost completely up hill... Definitely not easy. Tip: bring lots of water.

11 months ago

Great hike with views to Point Concepcion and Refugio Beach. Takes a little over an hour to ascend. Park at the bottom, pay $2, small parking area.

birding
11 months ago

This hike is a moderate one in my opinion. The views are worth the 3.5 miles up to the peak.

11 months ago

Muy buen cardio me gustó.

hiking
1 year ago

The trail itself is great it's well-maintained couldn't ask for a better trail;however it is pretty straight up of a constant incline the entire time on the way down obviously you're coming the other way so it is kind a hard on the feet and your joints but besides that the views are great

hiking
1 year ago

My friend and I drove up to Gaviota from Pasadena, CA. we started off at 5:30am; the drive was quite pleasant and lasted about 2hrs without traffic. We parked at the head of the trail, paid $2.00 using the envelops they provide and started the hike up. I would recommend starting earlier in the day, as most of the hike is not tree-lined and it gets really hot. While walking up, occasionally take a look behind you, the views are gorgeous! After reaching the top, we sat for a bit enjoying some peanut butter-jelly sandwiches and oranges, overlooking the vast expanse of the pacific. We then continued forward; down the Trespassers trail rather than heading back down the same way. The Trespassers trail is quite steep and narrow going down, and a LOT of thorny bushes in the way. Nevertheless, you have a view of the ocean and the vegetation and boulders are pretty awesome. We even passed a cave on the way, although we didn't go in as my friend was afraid that it was a mountain lions home :). The trip down is quite steep initially for about 40% (~1.3miles) and then is fairly flat. Overall, I would recommend going up to Gaviota peak and coming down the Trespassers trail for a good hike.

1 year ago

Run

hiking
1 year ago

Loved the hike (hiked to the peak 5 weeks ago) but I wouldn't recommend going during the summer. It's fairly warm with little to no shade. If you start from the bottom of Gaviota Park Boundary road it's fairly steep and then flattens out on the ridge line. It keeps you going because I could see the ocean when I was on the ridge line.

Ran into a ranger that said to watch for wild cats and so the first time I hiked this I actually didn't complete it because there was hardly anyone on the trail so I didn't feel safe.

I went back the next day and completed it and made it to the peak! Once you're on the ridge it's about a mile more to the peak. There isn't a defined trail up to the peak and it's steep coming down, but once you make it the views are more than worth it. You can see Santa Barbara and the beach below!

I would have loved to have hiked back via Trespass trail but it seemed rather rocky and I didn't have a walking stick with me. You can also hike to the peak from the beach which I plan to do next time. Overall it was a stunning hike, but Cerro Alto Peak still remains my favorite peak
near Morro Bay.

hiking
1 year ago

Great hike!
Went with boyfriend and we didn't really see anyone on this trail... may have been because it was still a bit cold.

It's quite a ascent in the beginning with a wide trail path.
The beginning there wasn't too much to see. But the view from the peak was amazing (we were also lucky because the sky was clear and we were able to see far far up the coastline).

The hike down (we took the full loop) was much more exciting because we passed by a wind cave, and the view was pretty awesome since we were facing the coast going back down (we did the hike backwards).

We also checked out the hotspring near the beginning of the trail. We dipped our feet in, but the milky coloring and smell stopped us from going further (and not having a towel/bathing suit).

As always, bring water, sunblock, hat, snacks and other essentials.
Swimsuit is a bonus if you're interested in the hot springs.

Hike vid: https://youtu.be/BtUnAcM0nSc

hiking
1 year ago

The views are amazing. I am a beginner hiker and thought I had bit off more than I can chew. But I powered through and made it. Def want to do it again.

hiking
2 years ago

This was our first time on the trail and as an overall rating, it was a good hike. We started at 930 AM. The first 3.2 miles were on a very obvious fire road. And at that time of the day it was about half in the sun and half in the shade. That part of the trek was almost all uphill and the elevation gain was 2165. At 3.2 miles we came to a 3 way intersection and took a right. That led us to the peak (at 3.4) the view was beautiful and well worth the work. We then headed down Trespass trail a single track on the beach side of the peak. The first .8 was pretty rugged, steep and rocky. But fun and challenging. Thereafter, we enjoyed a fairly gentle downhill descent. The total miles were 6.95 and I was tuckered. We got back to the car at 1 PM with only a few shade breaks.

Suggestions, take walking sticks for the loose gravel down Trespass trail, take lots of water for you and your four-legged friend and please take your toilet paper with you when you leave or at least burry it.

hiking
2 years ago

My absolute favorite hike an the area. I hike the North facing fire road up and after a break at the peak, I hike the South facing Trespass Trail down again. It's a perfect workout and I use it to prepare for longer hikes in the national Parks like Yosemite, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon.

hiking
2 years ago

My favorite trail in the area. I have been dozens of times, mainly to help condition myself for long backpacking trips in the High Sierras. It is a tough trail, take your time and enjoy the scenery.

hiking
2 years ago

This was a great hike! I really prefer loop trail hikes (not "there and back" hikes) so we researched this a little more and decided to go up to Gaviota peak and then down Trespass Trail, which brings you back to the parking lot where you began. It adds 1/2 mile to your hike but well worth the views of the ocean. Once you get to the summit of Gaviota peak, do NOT go down the same way you came. Instead, continue hiking on the other side of the summit and you'll see a trail heading towards the ocean. Eventually, you'll run into a wind cave and even further down the trail, you'll pass through open gates onto private property; hence the name Trespass Trail (Don't worry, they allow you to hike on their property).
On the way up to the summit we passed 50+ people. On the way down Trespass Trail, we didn't see anyone! It was a wonderful hike. Oh! and try to wear pants. The trail isn't very wide and it's pretty prickly on the first mile down but well worth it.

Don't forget your camera :)