Santa Barbara, CA: Gaviota Peak

Hike the western fringe of the Santa Ynez Mountains, one of the few ranges that runs east to west. Gaviota Peak overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the scenic Gaviota Coast and the Los Padres National Forest.
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Hike the western fringe of the Santa Ynez Mountains, one of the few ranges that runs east to west. Gaviota Peak overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the scenic Gaviota Coast and the Los Padres National Forest.

001 - The trailhead is on California State Park land and there is a $2.00 fee to park beneath huge sycamore trees.

002 - Head left at the trail sign in a tranquil grove of sycamore and oak trees.

003 - At the Y fork go left. A short route to the right leads to the hot springs, a bonus after hiking the steep route to Gaviota Peak. Continue left coming out of the trees and into rolling grassy hills. Watch for cows.

004 - After ascending a grassy hill, you'll head into another grove of oaks.

005 - In the middle of the grove, you'll come to a closed gate. Walk around it and continue up the dirt track.

006 - On the right is a weathered Los Padres National Forest post signifying your entry into the forest. Continue east following the track as it winds further up toward the peak.

007 - On a clear day the 360 degree views are arguably some of the best in this corner of Santa Barbara, CA.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 4.8

Waypoints

001

Location: 34.504685, -120.225834

24-MAR-10 4:04:47PM

002

Location: 34.504155, -120.222473

24-MAR-10 4:10:35PM

003

Location: 34.503158, -120.21979

24-MAR-10 4:14:46PM

004

Location: 34.503488, -120.217619

24-MAR-10 4:22:20PM

005

Location: 34.504124, -120.215928

24-MAR-10 4:24:50PM

006

Location: 34.503494, -120.212686

24-MAR-10 4:38:55PM

007

Location: 34.501767, -120.198763

24-MAR-10 5:07:41PM

ChuckGraham_BlueDicks_IMG_0452.jpg

Location: 34.51561, -120.191803

Watch for wildflowers like these blue dicks that are prevelant along the trail.

ChuckGraham_HotSprings_IMG_0455.jpg

Location: 34.522399, -120.211029

On the way down take a short detour and enjoy the hotsprings after this steep hike.

ChuckGraham_GaviotaPeak_IMG_0456.jpg

Location: 34.528056, -120.209656

In a forest of coast live oak trees you'll come to a locked gate. Walk around it on the right.

ChuckGraham_Ceanothus_IMG_0458.jpg

Location: 34.511083, -120.230255

All along this trail fragrant ceanothus fills the hillsides.

ChuckGraham_IndianPaintbrush_IMG_0453.jpg

Location: 34.507688, -120.231628

Vibrant Indian Paintbrush is found all along the trail.