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Gaviota Wind Caves Trail is a 2 mile heavily 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.

Length2 miElevation gain492 ftRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyCampingHikingHorseback ridingMountain bikingWalkingBird watchingRunningBeachCaveForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
Description
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Getting There

This hike features beautiful wind sculpted caves and incredible ocean vistas. This is a semi-strenuous but short out and back hike. The trail begins by 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 the final destination as a series of holes in the sandstone outcroppings ahead. After about 3/4 of a mile you will start the ascending switchback, which is very well-maintained. Continue along the ridgeline and 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. There is a trail to your left, or you can scramble straight up. The views from the top are beautiful.

California state parks 805-968-1033

From the 101 exit at Gaviota Campground, just before the entrance to the campground,veer to the right and up the hill. Park in parking area and follow the road beyond the gate and mountain lion danger sign.

Weather
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Reviews (444)
Photos (437)
Recordings (366)
Completed (953)
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David Janzen
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Mike Pajka
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Jøse Carrillø
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Doug McLaughlin
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Agrisson Silva
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Kyesha Dingman
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Hiking

Great hike

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Jamin Warren
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Hiking

Great and pretty easy. One steep part

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Alan Schwartz
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Interesting caves. Many to explore. Lots of rock scrambling. Great views on a clear day

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Danielle Rodriguez
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Hiking

Highly trafficked, very steep at points

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Milo Williams
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John Francis
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Hiking

Nice hike. Steep scree for a bit. Caves are fun but marked up by idiots. Hot. Bring water and watch you footing.

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Wendi B
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HikingNo shadeOver grownRocky

Good trail, but definitely go early as there is no shade. Trail is steep going up and down and very rocky in parts. Narrow in other parts as well.

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Mitchell Hall
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Hiking

Nice trail, hot during mid day so bring water.

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Martynas Vasiliauskas
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Martynas Vasiliauskas
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HikingNo shade

Wasn't expecting much from the short hike but we really enjoyed the trail. Only saw two other people on the hike when we went at 5pm (good time to go to avoid heat and watch the sunset). It was also a good workout as it's basically straight up the hill then back down! If you want to see what the caves/hike look like, I have a video of it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yL-O18HbR4&t=43s

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Prithvi Pande
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Crystal Husted
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Hiking

Super moderate trail. Not much to it. Trail is easy to follow and is well maintained. It is super hot though. Sunscreen and extra water is a must.

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Kevin Taylor
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William Bourlier
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Tyler Gilbert
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Hiking

My second hike on this trail, and the conditions were better than I expected for all the ash and smoke. There were also more people on the trail this time, but that’s to be expected for a Sunday morning. I love this hike. The first part is a little bit of a slog up the hill, and is very difficult. The rest of the way is also a steep climb, and there are definitely some scramble moments, so watch your feet and be sure to use hands if you need to to scale your way to the second caves! Spectacular views. Absolutely one of my favorite hikes in the Santa Barbara area. Virtually no shade, though, so come with a sun hat and sunscreen, and prepare to sweat!

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richard sikes
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Steve N
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Hiking

Love it!

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David Mossop
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Hiking

Nice short hike. Don’t let the paved path fool you in the beginning! Past the paved path is a pretty good hike to the top point. Would have gone further if planned better. Nice view I would think normally but very foggy today....

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jonathan Salgado
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Hiking

start at the forest and end up on the beach not a hard run for veteran runners

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Jessica Wheatcraft
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HikingGreat!Over grown

This is a beautiful trail with great ocean views. When looking up the trail on the app to write my review I saw it said no dogs, however I brought mine. At the entrance of the trail it says dogs are allowed. It gets steep and rocky at the top, but nothing overly strenuous. I went at dusk and the light was just beautiful. It’s a shorter hike, perfect for a quick outing. I highly recommend driving along the road when you’re done to check out the coastline.

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nishita Maddineni
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