Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola Expedition who supposedly killed a seagull while camping here in 1769. Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that crosses Gaviota Creek high above the day-use parking lot, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing and camping, despite high winds that often blow through the area. A pier on the west end of the beach is used by anglers, and 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 a trailhead in the parking area. Ambitious hikers can climb to Gaviota Peak that offers a spectacular view of the coast and the Channel Islands.
Visiting from Scotland I had heard there was a good viewpoint over the Pacific from Gaviota State Park and headed up from Long Beach for a look. The views were great and I did almost get bitten by a rattlesnake so be careful people. It was hard going in the heat but I did come down with a sense of accomplishment and no water left in my backpack - thirsty thirsty!
Good views from the top. As the map says, make the loop counterclockwise- unless you want a steady and constant climb up a fire road. View at the top is good. But views along the uphill hike were more spectacular. Springs are gross, trashy, and buggy. Shame that people don't pick up after themselves.
Stunning and wonderful. Probably took us 3.5 hours to complete the full circuit. Getting up early and doing the trespass trail before the peak trail was definitely the way to go. There is little coverage on this hike so bring plenty of water. Wildflowers were stunning but I would imagine I would like this hike a lot less in the summertime
A great, relatively short, hike with stunning views of the coast. I'm beginner/intermediate level and I've had no issues on this trail (there's also a few great spots to rest on the way up). Can get crowded on the weekends so I'd get there early if possible, I usually end up going around the hill to the trail on the peak behind the wind caves. I think it's a better view without the crowd. Check the weather too, as some of the trail is dirt track so after the rains it can be a bit muddy.
It was a little muddy but great trail! We got up to the wind caves, which was cool but what was even more cool was the hole in the rock that served as a looking glass lookout point. Plus, the views were spectacular! Would definitely do this again!
From the parking lot head up the road and you will see a gate on the right side. The pavement path will take you to the entrance of the hike marked by a sign with the trail information.Follow the path up the hill for a 2.5 mile out and back hike. There is an immediate incline so prepare for a bit of work. The path gets narrow and at times it becomes single file. I recommend wearing long sleeves and pants as some of the brush is overgrown. After the first hill the land levels off. Take a quick few steps to the right for an amazing view and a waterfall. Be careful as the edge drops off. After taking in the view, turn around and continue back up the trail. The path has a few small forks which reconnect quickly and a good number of switchbacks, but keep your eye on the caves and you will know you are headed in the right direction.
I happened to take this hike while it was raining and the trails were super muddy. I suggest wearing shoes with traction rain or shine due to the clay-like soil that crumbles easily. You will encounter a set of caves that have some graffiti. This is a great resting stop to have lunch or just take in the views. You can climb around up to the top of these caves for stunning views of the rolling greens hills and the ocean. You can see more caves up in the distance. I didn't try to wonder any further as the remainder of the trail looks like a tough scramble and the rain was really starting to come down. I read that are more caves up ahead but, I am not sure if they are the set of caves you can see in the distance. There are also hot springs in the area.
FYI - 2/19/17 parking lot was VERY flooded. You can park up top and walk down. Be prepared to trudge through mud. I am sure this will dry up after rainy season.
Also, this is not a hike for young kids.
For pictures and more information: http://www.fruitstandfresh.com/category/adventuretravel/cahikes/