El Capitan State Beach offers visitors a sandy beach, rocky tidepools, and stands of sycamore and oaks along El Capitn Creek. Its a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking and camping. A stairway provides access from the bluffs to the beach area. The park is open sunrise to sunset.

Not particularly beautiful and poorly maintained in sections. I don’t regret going, but likely won’t go again.

El Capitan is a large campground but the most of the camp sites are well spaced a part. This is more of a walk along a paved bike path rathern than a hike. Great ocean views along the ocean bluff. Part of the paved path is closed but you can bypass by going down to the beach. Best if you go during low tide as there isn't a lot of beach to walk on at high tide.

great trail! We started from the west side, a more gradual climb. Beautiful scenery!

Nice trail. Only saw the ropes course from the mountain not along the hike.

Went up the “hard way” and had to make our way through tall grasses and some brush as the trail isn’t well maintained. It’s doable though and there were some amazing views all the way up. Came back the “easy way” to complete the loop.

8 months ago

Well maintained and beautiful views - was easy to make it a lollipop loop out of it instead of an out and back. Nice vert

This trail has a closed portion, but the entire trail isn't closed. If you start at El Capitan, you can avoid the closed portion by heading down to the beach for a bit, then back up. If you start at Refugio you have much more trail. This trail is easy, and paved. Some areas you can't see the ocean due to plant growth, but there are some lovely quiet beaches along the way. A really nice way to walk a section of the Gaviota Coast.
Pro Tip: Use the bathroom before heading in either direction. Pro pro tip: A lot of the bathrooms are locked. Keep trying. It's like an Easter egg hunt!

This one was pretty easy. I recommend going up the "easy" (right) and up and over the hill down the "hard" path at sunset for some pretty views. It's slightly overgrown but shouldn't be bad for the average trailblazer.. ;) I checked for ticks and got none. Have fun!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Initially did “hard” trail but encountered very tall grass/weeds. Turned around and did the easy trail to avoid snakes and ticks!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

We took the hard route, didn't see the obstacle course. it might be on the easy route. Over all experience, this hike is easy even on hard route. It's semi maintained and connects with private property.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Don't know how long the trail has been closed, but I used the bypass and felt very unsafe. There are a couple of paths down to the beach, that was nice. You can see the ocean almost the entire time which us beautiful, but the trail itself is just an asphalt path.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The trail isn't currently being maintained and is heavily overgrown in many areas. The guy at the campground kiosk said it was closed, though there aren't any signs stating so. The condition of the trail says otherwise. The initial climb is a bit of a calf burner and the 360* views are beautiful. I would give 5 stars if it was maintained.

A lovely little trail for a coastal stroll...

This hike was by no means difficult. It was however calming and beautiful. There is a fee to use the state park.

One of my favorite and most frequent runs in Santa Barbara. I would start at Lifeguard HQ on the cliffs of El Capitan Beach and run along the bike path to Refugio beach and back. The run offers breathtaking views of the Gaviota Coast.

FYI the "Road Closed" sign can be bypassed by an opening in the brush on the ocean side about 20 feet before the fence. I would only recommend this trail for running or walking as the bike path is in disrepair, rather steep, and the fences make bicycling unpleasant.

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