Cachuma Lake: Sweetwater Trail

MODERATE 36 reviews
#2 of 6 trails in

Cachuma Lake: Sweetwater Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
597 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

scenic driving

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Set amidst acres of wilderness flanked by the picturesque Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains, lies glimmering Cachuma Lake. Here you will find practically everything you need for a relaxing getaway in the great outdoors.

hiking
1 month ago

I originally planned on hiking the Gaviota Peak Trail but two cars were broken into when I got to the parking lot. Hide your valuables. I wasn’t let down when I decided to do Sweetwater Trail. I also did Vista Point and all the side trails. Sunset was incredible. This hike exceeded my expectations.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is ok, nothing to exciting. Also I don't know if I would rate it "moderate" it seems to be more comparable to other "easy" trails. There are a couple of short hills but not that steep, the rest is relatively flat. There are a couple of views of the lake, but not as many as you would expect. To re-iterate another hikers comment: Free parking if you start at vista point.

3 months ago

Pretty good. As advertised.

5 months ago

Free parking if you start at vista point

10 months ago

Nice hike. Very narrow and a bit crowded, so passing with my dog was a hassle. But it was lovely and a great distance/level for us.

hiking
11 months ago

This is a really pretty, well-maintained trail, and probably doable for most people (it's barely moderate, in my humble opinion). I hiked from the trailhead in the Lake Cachuma recreation area, all the way to the Bradbury Dam, which is about 2.5 miles one way. The Lake is filling up, yay! Great photo opp's, scenery, and places to stop and rest.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Pretty new to hiking, this was a fun trail. Moderately busy with a narrow path makes for tough passing. Going in spring is probably ideal. At 75° it was pretty humid. Encountered the endangered horned lizard. Please leave alone and in habitat since endangered; definitely a sight to see!

hiking
Friday, September 19, 2014

nice casual hike with some hill work here and there. and if there had been an healthy rain season this year, the view of the lake and what would have been creeks would have made for some rich and fantastic views. however, presently the water level of the lake is depressingly low, and potential creeks are totally dry. let's hope for a solid measure of rain this winter.

camping
Monday, May 12, 2014

Crowded usually, but it is known ce being by a lake!

walking
Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nothing really special. It just has a nice view of the lake and it's more for an evening stroll. I suggest going off trail onto some really nice fields. There are great scenes with tall grass and flowers that are beautiful to take pictures with.

camping
Monday, August 19, 2013

My family and I have camped here three times. If you can, get a spot by the lake. It's absolutely stunning at dawn and dusk, despite being man made (the only pet peeve I had). Stargazing at night is great too, because the entire sky is filled with stars and it's pitch black. Also bring your dog! They allow pets, you just have to pay a small fee. The camp has a park with a playground for kids as well as boats you can rent. Kayaking here is extremely affordable! 12$ for my boyfriend and I to share a kayak for an hour. Around 30 minutes away is Solvang, a Hollandish town that is a delight to visit!

hiking
Sunday, April 07, 2013

Offers everything you could imagine for the outdoorsy spirit-- fishing, boating, kayaking, camping, walking, running....perfect even for a rugged outdoor stroller. I highly recommend for kids. Can get a bit crowded and hot in late afternoon, so arrive early around 9am for best enjoyment and leave by 2pm when the crowds are at the max.

camping
Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I love camping with the Family all summer long at Cachuma and we also love kayaking the lake and all the nature watching, it's a great place,just wish you could swim in the lake.

camping
Sunday, May 22, 2011

I have been camping here for the past 7 years and this place is amazing! Beautiful nature, a great lake to relax by, peace and quiet. Enjoy the sunset by the lake which offers amazing views. At night you will be greeted by raccoons and other rodents trying to steal your food. The highlight of it all.. Stargazing. Cachuma Lake offers amazing views of the nightsky with the Milky Way Galaxy visible right over you.

1 month ago

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