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nature trips

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wild flowers

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.

Great drive to the destination and fun hike up to the caves. Smoked a fatty and chilled for awhile. Best way to relax.

As noted bring $2 for parking. Hiked / ran the loop counter-clockwise up Gaviota Peak Trail, which is a fire road with some decent views, over the peak and down Trespass Trail. The upper portion of Trespass trail are fantastic narrow single-track, with some fantastic views. Trail is really well marked at all junctions.

This trail is straight up. Bring water because you’re in the sun most of the time. My Garmin watch clocked the mileage at 6.6 miles not 5.9.

The fire road itself isn't all that exciting, the view at the radio tower is great. Much more fun if you see the tower and then connect to the wind caves trail. There's a post near the top, if I remember right it says Beach to Backcountry trail to get to the caves.

Great trail, can connect to the fire road overlook trail which ends at a radio tower directly above/across from the tunnel. To connect you have to find a small path that goes downhill north from the second set of caves. You'll drop into a live oak grove that connects to the fire road.

Beautiful trail! Harder than I had thought: better to bring plenty of water and a hat (shade is rare privilege over here). But you do get a wonderful view of the ocean once you reach the top!
Did it in four hours and I took my time.

I hiked this back in late 2012 in a large group. Short but steep, so it’ll get your heart rate up. Beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. There is camping on the state beach below. Not sure if dogs are allowed on this trail but they are not allowed on the beach. Very windy, obviously, so dress in layers. The caves are really cool, but unfortunately there is a lot of graffiti.

Pretty quick hike up to the caves with lovely views. Not super strenuous but a decent work out.

I didn’t think I could make it all the way, but I did and the view was amazing!

Excelente ruta para dejar el estrés

The path was partly fire road going counterclockwise then narrowed to single track most of the way until you got to the peak. The peak was worth the constant “are we there yet?” feeling though. After the peak it was a wide fire road all the way down. Bring lots of water. Easily went through 2L as it was 80* and full sun. The views on Trespass trail are amazing!
No port a potty at the trailhead. Bring $2 for parking fee.

hiking
3 months ago

If you want a real hike to the top, take the Trespass Trail to the Peak and come down this fire road. The Trespass Trail goes to the right at the junction. If you love hiking the Trespass Trail to Gaviota Peak is by far one of the best hikes i have completed this year. It is not overly strenuous for the average hike although the last half mile to the peak is certainly grueling. I'm not sure how many times I asked myself we must be there, right? But the trail is very enjoyable, lots of true hiking experiences, many different things to see - fields, oak trees, rock formations, the ocean, other peaks, etc. It is not boring at all. The Wind Caves were a nice break in the climb up, and I highly recommend the detour to the Tunnel Overlook. It reconnects with the trail to the top and provides some great views. We took the fire road down which was fine, as we saw the sunset at the top so it was dark. I would think that the fire road up is arduous, great exercise, but by no means a true hike. Going down it was non-stop descent, so the reverse would be true. We did not visit the hot springs as it was dark.

If you love hiking the Trespass Trail to Gaviota Peak is by far one of the best hikes i have completed this year. It is not overly strenuous for the average hike although the last half mile to the peak is certainly grueling. I'm not sure how many times I asked myself we must be there, right? But the trail is very enjoyable, lots of true hiking experiences, many different things to see - fields, oak trees, rock formations, the ocean, other peaks, etc. It is not boring at all. The Wind Caves were a nice break in the climb up, and I highly recommend the detour to the Tunnel Overlook. It reconnects with the trail to the top and provides some great views. We took the fire road down which was fine, as we saw the sunset at the top so it was dark. I would think that the fire road up is arduous, great exercise, but by no means a true hike. Going down it was non-stop descent, so the reverse would be true. We did not visit the hot springs as it was dark.

Walked up the firebreak road to the peak, and turned and walked same way back to parking lot. 6 miles total and about 2. 4K elevation change going up. If you hike during summer leave early as it warms up quick with lack of tree cover further up the trail.

Beautiful hike! Quite steep in some parts but relaxing in the caves with a view of the ocean was the best part.

Cool hike! Caves are neat. I would say kid friendly if 6 or older. 4 year old had trouble with the steep parts. My two year old got a shoulder ride once we were off the paved path. Short hike but definitely moderate due to steep trail.

Good hike with some steep sections, and incredible views from the peak. As you get higher, the trail is more exposed, so bring enough water. There is a smaller path turnoff to the right, just before you drop down on the fire road about 1/2mile from the parking lot, where there are two hot spring pools. Fair amount of poison oak along that stretch, but very cool to see the springs.

hiking
5 months ago

I am in no shape of form a hiker. This trail was supper fun and I brought my 4yr old with me and she handled it like a champ. I definitely felt the burn during the hike but it was doable and I had a blast

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike especially when done in April. The mustard flowers coat the small valley and hills and it becomes very scenic with the ocean as the backdrop. The caves themselves are interesting but not mind-blowing. The hike itself is pretty enough to do it though. Unfortunately some of the rocks are tagged with graffiti.

nice hike beautiful hot springs

It’s a good hike my daughter is 10 and she has done this hike 3 times now.

Family friendly hike. Sad we can't take our dogs anymore. Beautiful caves and views.

Awesome hike! Nice wind caves. Wish there was more to hike.

Love it . An Amazing view. This is my second trail in Santa Barbara and I can say the best few I have had for now ;) I can see so far ... I even think I saw LA ;) just one detail , if you start the trail start it from the left side - it’s harder bd you are really feeling that you are hiking . Because on the way back it’s just a regular road

moderate hike if going up fire road and down trespass. much harder if you go the reverse way.

Beautiful hike , steep , short, worth the time.

Not easy for beginners! But a lot of fun!

on Gaviota Peak Trail

6 months ago

wonderful mother's day hike!

Loved the vistas and rock formations.

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