From Highway 101 in Santa Barbara exit on Las Positas. Drive 1.75 miles south towards the ocean to Cliff Drive. Turn right and continue 0.2 miles to the Arroyo Burro Beach parking lot..
Things to Know
What is now known as the Douglas Family Preserve is at the heart of a number of battles to preserve the coastal bluff tops and maintain wildlife corridors along the south coast for birds and mammals. Ironically, what has made much of this possible are the oil companies. The county collects about $1 million annually from those companies with offshore operations, which is used through its Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund to buy local properties for preservation.
Historically, the 69-acre bluff top was a plant nursery owned by Roy Wilcox until the 1950s. There have been efforts to develop this land since the 1960s when surviving members of the Wilcox family sold it to developers. Ballot measures in 1987 and 1988 would have authorized the city to purchase the land for a public park but both were narrowly defeated. In 1993, a proposal to subdivide the land into 45 lots was rejected by the City Planning Commission but it appeared that the Wilcox Property might be developed soon.
However, in 1996, armed with a $1 million dollar challenge grant from the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors, the Small Wilderness Area Preserves (SWAP) organization began a major campaign to find an additional $2.6 million to buy the land. The organization's efforts were successful, thanks to the contributions of thousands of local citizens and one large grant from the Douglas' family.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Santa Barbara Outdoors. The website was created to provide our local community and those who visit here with up-to-date information about where to go and what to see in our beautiful county.The website is currently undergoing major revisions so please be patient.
When heading out on any of our local trails always remember to bring plenty of water and take care while you are out there.