Explore the most popular wildlife trails near Goleta with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

El Capitan is a large campground but the most of the camp sites are well spaced a part. This is more of a walk along a paved bike path rathern than a hike. Great ocean views along the ocean bluff. Part of the paved path is closed but you can bypass by going down to the beach. Best if you go during low tide as there isn't a lot of beach to walk on at high tide.

This trail should be noted as closed Majority of trail is overgrown and the campground is not maintained. Ascent to Happy Hollow Campground included countless washed out sections of trail with serious exposure as of July 28 2018.

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.

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
1 month 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.

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

great trail! We started from the west side, a more gradual climb. Beautiful scenery!

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

Nice trail. Only saw the ropes course from the mountain not along the hike.

on Baron Ranch Trail

3 months ago

Overgrown

Loved the vistas and rock formations.

Nice trail, but overrun with poison oak almost the entire way. Shaded, which is nice in the heat, but unfortunately there is almost no view of any mountains, landscape, etc because the entire hike follows a creek down between two large mountains. Only saw two other people the whole way so it was quite peaceful. The only animals I saw were birds. The lower part of the trail, near the Davy Brown Campground, is very lush and green. A bit late for wildflowers seemed like (late April) but still lots of tall green grass. The drive up Fig Mountain to the actual trail head is stunning, a windy, one lane road, with lush green meadows and oak trees the entire way. (PS) Don't park your car in the loose gravel at the trail head, stay as close to the metal fence as you can. It can and will get stuck.

Hike is definitely advanced as far as fitness is concerned. Lots of loose footing on the way down, steep, and uphill the whole way back. (I'm not kidding. I trail run several miles everyday and I found this difficult) I used Strava to track myself: 2,244 feet of climbing, took me just under 3 hours to make it down to the Campground and back up to my car.

If you start from the Figueroa Mountain Road trail head (which the app gives great directions to) the trail goes through a grassy meadow and then down into a ravine. When you reach a river crossing, the trail forks into three. Be sure to stay AWAY from the left trail, this is Willow Pond trail, which I took by accident on the way down and it is nearly impassable. I am covered in ticks. Keep to the center trail at the fork to stay on the Davy Brown Trail. Not sure where the right trail goes. Once you take the center trail, you will almost immediately come to another crossing, this time again, KEEP RIGHT. Don't go up the left trail, this is Willow Pond. Keep right and follow Davy Brown Trail downhill. (SEE PHOTO WITH GREEN ARROW) On the way back up, remember these crossings. Take pictures if it helps. Can get confusing. Stay away from Willow Pond Trail it is overgrown and infested with ticks.

We saw snow in the morning. How luck we are!

hiking
4 months ago

I had a great time on this trail despite the lack of shade. Yes it was hot so plan accordingly. I went on April 1. Best to do it early in the morning if you want to avoid some gnarly heat this summer

hiking
5 months ago

great trail amazing views there water in the creek tats a plus!

Hardest hike/ trip of my life! Went backpacking as the online reviews said it was moderately challenging. This hike is uphill for 10+ miles. NO shade for majority, and we had to carry all of our water. It took us like 8.5 hours to get up to happy hollow. There were some really sketchy bits too where you could easily fall down 50ft slopes. I would not recommend backpacking.

hiking
5 months ago

kool trail✌

hiking
5 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.

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

Beautiful and unique. Very, very steep.

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.

This trail has a closed portion, but the entire trail isn't closed. If you start at El Capitan, you can avoid the closed portion by heading down to the beach for a bit, then back up. If you start at Refugio you have much more trail. This trail is easy, and paved. Some areas you can't see the ocean due to plant growth, but there are some lovely quiet beaches along the way. A really nice way to walk a section of the Gaviota Coast.
Pro Tip: Use the bathroom before heading in either direction. Pro pro tip: A lot of the bathrooms are locked. Keep trying. It's like an Easter egg hunt!

great place

hiking
6 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.

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

Trail is closed in one area see recording for where we we had to turn back.

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

We took the hard route, didn't see the obstacle course. it might be on the easy route. Over all experience, this hike is easy even on hard route. It's semi maintained and connects with private property.

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