Gaviota Wind Caves Trail

MODERATE 45 reviews
#1 of 5 trails in

Gaviota Wind Caves Trail is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Goleta, CA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

2.1 miles 565 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

surfing

walking

horseback riding

beach

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Beautiful wind sculpted caves, incredible ocean vistas. This is a semi-strenuous but short in and out hike. The begins trail following an old road along gaviota creek moving inland. This part is mostly flat with lots of riparian birds. As you head towards the hills, you can see final destination as series of holes in the sandstone outcroppings ahead. After about 3/4 of a mile you will start the ascending switchback, which was very well-maintained. Continuing along the ridgeline you'll come to the first wind cave. Cross through the wind cave and the trail gets much steeper with a couple of switch backs, until you reach the bottom of the second cave. To left is a trail, or you can scramble straight up. The views from the top are not to be believed.

4 days ago

It was short but wet, the rain caught us. Mud surfed. Will return to finish trail.Its an easy open trail

2 months ago

3 months ago

Trail is good and a good work to the top cave. I'm 50+ and it was a total 1.5 hours. We rested a bit at the top. Lots of people on trail which was one way at times. Saw a couple snakes but they were on the paved road which was odd. Take water and pictures.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Not a bad day hike. The trail is pretty steep incline going up the entire time to the caves. There are few along the way to stop and look at. Not too challenging besides the uphill part. Pack a lunch and enjoy the view from the top of the caves. No shade on the trail so bring plenty of water

4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

It's a quick hike to the caves but its an incline and a little rock climbing involved. I would recommend it, great adventure!

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Nice view, worth the time

6 months ago

Great short hike
Pay attention if you are coming from the south on 101 the exit to gaviota beach is closed and you need to go additional 2 miles to make a U turn.
Well worth the effort...

6 months ago

This trail is NOT dog friendly. I drove over 3 hours to get here, only to be turned around by the ranger. $500 fine if you bring your dog on the trail and the same fine applies if you leave your dog in your car (per ranger).

hiking
6 months ago

My son and I love this hike. The caves are awesome and the view of the ocean is even better.

7 months ago

7 months ago

Great hike that isn't too easy because of steep hills & loose dirt but definitely gorgeous with the Pacific Ocean view!! The caves are cool but we saw a few beetles. Not long at all; I think approx 3-4 miles round trip. Free parking is a plus!!

7 months ago

Great hike. Did this twice in the last two weeks. I did see a baby rattle snake at the top left cave the second time I hiked. It's getting pretty hot so I guess that's common.

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty nice with a few steep areas. According to ranger, dogs not allowed.

8 months ago

8 months ago

Fun hike completed with 4 kids 15 through 7 and 3 dogs. Total hike distance was a little over 3. Make sure you bring plenty of water... The middle part is pretty steep.

10 months ago

This place is just breathtaking. A bit difficult to find and the climb is rough but nothing too difficult. Tourists and teenagers tend to flock this area.

hiking
1 year ago

The first probably half mile of the trail is paved. Once you initially start climbing there are some steep dirt inclines that are a little rough. A lot of the elevation gain happens in a very short distance so it was a lot of incline with very little leveling off until the first cave. The first cave was very cool, we climbed up around it and saw the littler cave on top of that. It was well worth the extra energy to continue hiking to the higher caves. We did climb into the second cave from the left and had a very difficult time getting out of it due to sheer rock face pretty much every direction so I wouldn't recommend just climbing up without a great plan for getting down. We took a LOT of breaks on the way up, hung out at the bottom cave ten minutes, the top caves probably 20, and were still only on the trail for less than 2.5 hours. Definitely take sunglasses, hat, water as there is no shade until the caves. It was a cool hike, view is alright. I'm glad I did it once but probably wouldn't do it a second time.