Gaviota Wind Caves Trail

MODERATE 162 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Gaviota Wind Caves Trail is a 2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Goleta, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
492 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

surfing

trail running

walking

beach

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Beautiful wind sculpted caves, incredible ocean vistas. This is a semi-strenuous but short in and out hike. The begins trail following an old road along gaviota creek moving inland. This part is mostly flat with lots of riparian birds. As you head towards the hills, you can see final destination as series of holes in the sandstone outcroppings ahead. After about 3/4 of a mile you will start the ascending switchback, which was very well-maintained. Continuing along the ridgeline you'll come to the first wind cave. Cross through the wind cave and the trail gets much steeper with a couple of switch backs, until you reach the bottom of the second cave. To left is a trail, or you can scramble straight up. The views from the top are not to be believed.

1 month ago

Loved the vistas and rock formations.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful views. Challenging part of the way but in a fun. The caves are unique. The turkey vultures gliding around made it more fun. Definitely worth the trip.

3 months ago

Good quick hike! Fun! Had to rock scramble a bit at the very top! Went on a nice windy day!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful and unique. Very, very steep.

hiking
4 months ago

Love this place. Last time we hiked this, we finally ventured past the caves. Technically you're on the Beach to Back Country trail.. we took a right once that meets up with the Overlook Fire Rd & went to the tower. The views there are AMAZING...frightening & stunning as you overlook 101 Gaviota Pass & tunnel. Lots of magical hawks that like to show off. We headed back & had enough juice left in us to venture towards the other way & got a lil ways down Hollyridge (or someth like that, don't remember) before we headed back the way we came in.. looked like we weren't getting closer to ocean & was much hotter than forecasted.. so did total of 8+ miles. Worth it, but bring plenty of water, esp on warmer day. Can be trafficked on weekends & evenings, but only up to caves. Past that, you see very little of other humans.

hiking
4 months ago

great place

hiking
4 months ago

I've been meaning to do this short hike for quite some time. Finally got around to it today. I am not very athletic and found this trail to be a little challenging. It throws everything at you: easy, moderate, hard. Cool temps. Hot temps. Sand. Rocks. Ocean view. Mountain view. Scrambling. Sliding. Add in the "easy" paved trail to the trailhead and back and you've got a nice 4 mile workout. Not sure I'll hike this trail again, unless I was sharing it with someone. The caves are neat for what they are; nice views. Free.

4 months ago

gets very steep and dangerous towards the top .almost 90 degrees incline . with narrow path.

hiking
5 months ago

I didn’t see a single piece of trash on my way to the wind caves but then I saw someone leave bags of dog poo in the parking lot. If you’re going to bag dog poo only to leave it on the ground, don’t bag it to begin with. You can also hear the nearby highway from the smaller peak. If you have 90 minutes to burn I suggest this hike. Otherwise I think there may be better options nearby

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike. Not too long or hard. Great views from the top!

6 months ago

Great quick local escape

9 months ago

Fun hike! Great views

10 months ago

About a two mile trip to the first set of wind caves and back. Fun trail, with a relatively gradual incline most of the way up. The wind caves are fun.

hiking
10 months ago

Fun hike. Took my 11 year old son and he had a great time.

10 months ago

An awesome trail with great views of the ocean and surrounding hills

hiking
10 months ago

Very nice trail with impressive wind caves. After reaching the designated end, you can continue on to explore some additional caves. Despite being fairly well trafficked, we saw to King snakes on this trial, so watch your step.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Absolutely awesome ! great workout and amazing view! it can be a little tough for small children.

walking
11 months ago

Great trail, for a moderate designation it has 3 section with steep incline, with hands on the ground type scrambling loved it

11 months ago

great trail next time id like to do it with the sunrise

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lots of rock scrambling and steep ascent. The view and caves at the end are worth it. My be difficult for small kids

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Great hike, though not much shade til you get pretty far into it so wear a hat/sunscreen if it's hot. Some very steep inclines at times, otherwise very manageable with a slight but near-constant incline. Be prepared to climb over some rocks. View from the caves is amazing!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

Great hike. Incline wasnt too bad after initial hill. Went early to avoid crowds. Caves were awesome, though I was only able to get into the first cave. The caves up top have a small wall of rock that I couldnt get footing to climb up. Next time I'll wear hiking shoes with traction and it should be fine.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's a great short hike.
Awesome views.
I rate it as a 5 and not a 4Star for two reasons
1. You can feel like some serious Chumash history happened.
2. It's like my backyard.
Fished those waters.
Rode those waves.
Hiked and Hunted the other side.
And it's only a 15min drive.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Great domestic flavored hike.

hiking
Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Lots of flowers everywhere. This was great little hike with some great views. Highway noise kinda sux but besides that it was fun!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

my kids fave

Monday, March 06, 2017

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.

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