Gaviota Hot Springs and Trespass Trail

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Gaviota State Park

Gaviota Hot Springs and Trespass Trail is a 10.6 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Goleta, California that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 10.6 km Elevation Gain: 675 m Route Type: Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

running

hot springs

river

views

wild flowers

rocky

no shade

fee

no dogs

Note: Sections of this trail go through private property. $2 parking fee

hiking
28 days ago

Omg! Totally loved this hike. Very nice weather today which made it even more pleasant. Will go again!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, we did the short 2.2mile loop. Great views and lots of wildflowers.

Read the description wrong - it’s 9+ miles from Gaviota peak I guess? Looks like we’ll tackle you another day with an earlier start. Beautiful trail. Would absolutely recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Muddy for the first 1.5 miles but still nice.

1 month ago

This trail is a must visit! Hiking Level: Moderate, definitely wear hiking boots or shoes if completing the loop I recommend going clockwise taking the Trail to the left Gaviota Hot Springs Great workout A+ Animal life was minimal C Views of mountains and ridges A+ Views of Ocean A+ Flowers, grace and wildflower A+ Trail finding EASY A+ Sightseeing Overall A+ There is some small downhill slippery rock areas but for the most part you will enjoy this trail! my wife and I absolutely loved it and looking forward to hiking it again.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

I had been looking forward to hiking Gaviota for over a year and I was absolutely not disappointed! We chose to hike clockwise toward Gaviota Peak and were rewarded with a very dramatic vista where we could see most of the geographic features of the northern Channel Islands region including Mugu Peak and the Santa Monica Mountains to the southeast, all all of the northern Channel Islands to the SW, S & SE , Lake Cachuma to the NW, Point Conception to the west and a good way up 101 to the north toward Buellton. I dont know of any other coastal hike were you are able to see so many landmarks and I give it a A+ in this regard. What makes this hike so unique as well is that it is located right in the geographic confluence of Central and Southern California. This makes for an incredible amount of biodiversity in the plant and animal life. This hike features at least 4-5 biotic communities and habitat types due to elevation gain, rainshadow effect, soil types etc. It made for some great photos especially in the peak of wildflower season. You will experience oak forest, grassland, beautiful sage scrub, and dramatic rocky sandstone outcroppings and more. There were many avian species, insects and reptiles visible. There were also a large amount of tracks and scat from coyotes, owl pellets, bobcats etc when I visited. Compared to the areas to the east where I hike this is visibly a much more healthy ecosystem. If you are at least remotely interested in plant or wildlife then this is a hike for you. A+. The trails conditions here are generally good and well maintained for 2/3 of the hike but challenging down the descent (in my case) from Gaviota Mountain due to the sharp descent down sandstone lined paths and due to rills caused by erosion. Luckily the rocks are tough and generally do not roll on you due to shape. They can be a bit scrambily at certain places. Overall you need a solid fitness level to do this hike. The elevation gain is substantial but not a killer. If you aren't an avid hiker this hike would be difficult, if you are I would rate this hike as a moderate difficulty. There are areas, especially on the north side of this hike that are in oak forest that provide a nice amount of shade. I would recommend this hike in all seasons, but urge visitors to bring a brimmed hat, sunscreen and a good amount of water. Winds here can be very strong so be prepared with the proper gear. I was here on a Saturday and did encounter a good amount of other people. This was also a time when people were out and "social distancing." However, everyone we met were courteous. We saw a group on average every 5 minutes. I think this was a very busy day though. On an average day I wouldn't expect total solitude, but the trail is long enough where it wouldn't be a big issue. Overall hiking experience: A. In closing, this hike is a must do if you are able. A+ overall and I absolutely will be doing this again and would highly recommend committing to a day trip to hike here. If you are travelling you can camp at nearby Gaviota State Park or stay up the highway in Buellton or Lompoc. Thanks for reading!

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

I had been looking forward to hiking Gaviota for over a year and I was absolutely not disappointed! We chose to hike clockwise toward Gaviota Peak and were rewarded with a very dramatic vista where we could see most of the geographic features of the northern Channel Islands region including Mugu Peak and the Santa Monica Mountains to the southeast, all all of the northern Channel Islands to the SW, S & SE , Lake Cachuma to the NW, Point Conception to the west and a good way up 101 to the north toward Buellton. I dont know of any other coastal hike were you are able to see so many landmarks and I give it a A+ in this regard. What makes this hike so unique as well is that it is located right in the geographic confluence of Central and Southern California. This makes for an incredible amount of biodiversity in the plant and animal life. This hike features at least 4-5 biotic communities and habitat types due to elevation gain, rainshadow effect, soil types etc. It made for some great photos especially in the peak of wildflower season. You will experience oak forest, grassland, beautiful sage scrub, and dramatic rocky sandstone outcroppings and more. There were many avian species, insects and reptiles visible. There were also a large amount of tracks and scat from coyotes, owl pellets, bobcats etc when I visited. Compared to the areas to the east where I hike this is visibly a much more healthy ecosystem. If you are at least remotely interested in plant or wildlife then this is a hike for you. A+. The trails conditions here are generally good and well maintained for 2/3 of the hike but challenging down the descent (in my case) from Gaviota Mountain due to the sharp descent down sandstone lined paths and due to rills caused by erosion. Luckily the rocks are tough and generally do not roll on you due to shape. They can be a bit scrambily at certain places. Overall you need a solid fitness level to do this hike. The elevation gain is substantial but not a killer. If you aren't an avid hiker this hike would be difficult, if you are I would rate this hike as a moderate difficulty. There are areas, especially on the north side of this hike that are in oak forest that provide a nice amount of shade. I would recommend this hike in all seasons, but urge visitors to bring a brimmed hat, sunscreen and a good amount of water. Winds here can be very strong so be prepared with the proper gear. I was here on a Saturday and did encounter a good amount of other people. This was also a time when people were out and "social distancing." However, everyone we met were courteous. We saw a group on average every 5 minutes. I think this was a very busy day though. On an average day I wouldn't expect total solitude, but the trail is long enough where it wouldn't be a big issue. Overall hiking experience: A. In closing, this hike is a must do if you are able. A+ overall and I absolutely will be doing this again and would highly recommend committing to a day trip to hike here. If you are travelling you can camp at nearby Gaviota State Park or stay up the highway in Buellton or Lompoc. Thanks for reading!

Spectacular views! Especially if you hike the loop clockwise. It’s worth the trek up the fire road.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Awesome hike with great views of the ocean. Went counter clockwise, a bit steep and technical at times. Definitely one of the more beautiful hikes I've been on. Highly recommend!

This was a hike full of excellent views and, if you do the loop counter clockwise, a hot spring at the end. Easy to follow the trail and not too many people until the hot spring. Enough of a workout to feel like you did something but not too hard for a middle aged flat-lander.

hiking
fee
3 months ago

Fanfriggentactic! Bit of a butt kicker for out of shape folks like me. The ocean view side is where it’s at. The Mountain View side is still good, but mostly just a fire access road with decent scenery.

hiking
bugs
no shade
3 months ago

We took the trespass trail on the way up and the fire trail down (counterclockwise). The view is incredible on the second portion of the trespass trail, where the climb up is real. We had to stop a lot to rest and appreciate the breathtaking 180-degree panoramic ocean view. The fire trail was mostly mountain valley views and easy to go down.

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely beautiful trail! I highly recommend going counterclockwise to start. Beautiful, stunning views! Very steep ascent, definitely a moderate to hard hike. I was glad to have the fire road to run down on the descent. Take your water & wear your sunscreen.

hiking
4 months ago

12/31: After taking both ascents to Gaviota Peak, Trespass Trail is by far the most beautiful route regardless of the direction you take. It is a little further than the fire road (an additional 0.5 mile) to the top. It is muddy and eroded in spots but not especially difficult. The descent was fine too. Moderate is a fair rating. The green mountains against the backdrop of the ocean is epic. You miss almost all of the views if you only keep to the fire road. Out and back with a one way addition of the Tunnel View Trail was 7.2 miles and 2000 feet of climbing. You also pass some fun caves. If you are confident in your footing and willing to go the distance, Trespass makes a great out and back or vital part of the loop.

A lot of reviews say “no shade”, but we found >50% coverage. The true no shade trail is the Montecito peak. Great view! We saw a rabbit and some lizards.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
6 months ago

Beautiful views of the ocean. Hard to say which way to go. I went in the afternoon in late June counter clockwise and was pretty hot but at least some breezes, but I had my back to ocean most of the time. I met a guy going the other way who said the sun and heat was pretty bad with no breezes on the fire road up, but he preferred facing the ocean going down. Of course going earlier solves the dilemma. The trespass trail going up seems over grown and rocky sometimes as just a dry creek bed, which may be more difficult going down. There were quite a few flies and some bees. As noted bring plenty of water.

hiking
fee
rocky
7 months ago

Great hike, great views! Bring plenty of water.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
8 months ago

extremely hard.

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