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El Capitan Beach - Gaviota Coast

The Best Beach Walks in Gaviota & Fun Things to do in Gaviota

Overview
Access
Things to Know
Gallery

Overview

Mileage: 1-3 mi • Region: Gaviota Coast
Amenities: Picnic Tables, BBQs, Bathrooms, Showers, Dining, Bike Paths
Things to do: Beach Walking, Running, Camping, Hiking, Cycling, Dog Walking, Picnicking, Tide Pooling, Surfing, Swimming

Most come for the campground or the surf. El Cap is a family park and one of the best. A bike path leads west to Refugio, providing an opportunity to walk the beach one way and the path the other. East towards Goleta is the best six mile beach walk anywhere, though you’ll need a minus tide to assure yourself of making it all the way.

Beach Walk Details

  • Length : 6 miles east to Haskell’s Beach; 1.5 miles west to Corral Beach; 2.5 miles west to Refugio Beach.
  • Tide Notes : You can walk quite a ways west at higher tides but to reach Corral Beach you'll need a tide of 2.0 or lower; you can walk all the way to Haskell's at 2.0 tides of lower. However it is quite a walk so best is to begin while the tide is still dropping to make sure you have as long a low tide as possible.
  • Accessibility : Beach wheelchairs are available for use by the public with no cost. With this specially designed chair, wheelchair users may access the beach at several locations. Contact a ranger or lifeguard for additional information.
  • UseFees : $10 daily
  • Canine : Dogs are not allowed on state park beaches in the Santa Barbara area; on leash elsewhere.
  • Admin : California State Parks/805-968-1033


Find Other Similar Trails

Beach Regions: Gaviota Coast
Beach Amenities: Picnicking , BBQs , Bathrooms , Showers , Dining , Bike Paths
Beach Activities : Beach Walking , Running , Camping , Hiking , Cycling , Dog Walking , Picnicking , Tide Pooling , Surfing , Swimming

Links & Resources


Get Directions To The Trailhead

Driving Directions
Get Directions to El Capitan Beach which is located at 34.457774,-120.021472.

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Gallery

Beach Walk Details

  • Length : 6 miles east to Haskell’s Beach; 1.5 miles west to Corral Beach; 2.5 miles west to Refugio Beach.
  • Tide Notes : You can walk quite a ways west at higher tides but to reach Corral Beach you'll need a tide of 2.0 or lower; you can walk all the way to Haskell's at 2.0 tides of lower. However it is quite a walk so best is to begin while the tide is still dropping to make sure you have as long a low tide as possible.
  • Accessibility : Beach wheelchairs are available for use by the public with no cost. With this specially designed chair, wheelchair users may access the beach at several locations. Contact a ranger or lifeguard for additional information.
  • UseFees : $10 daily
  • Canine : Dogs are not allowed on state park beaches in the Santa Barbara area; on leash elsewhere.
  • Admin : California State Parks/805-968-1033

Access / Parking

  1. From Fairview Avenue in Goleta, follow Highway 101 west for 11 miles (20 miles from downtown Santa Barbara) to the El Capitan turnoff.
  2. A winding road leads down under the freeway to the beach.
  3. There are no parking areas outside the park so you’ll have to pay for day use.

 


Things to Know

There is ample area at the beach for picnicking and frolicking on the beach, as well as scores of overnight campsites. A bike path leads along the bluff tops from El Capitan to Refugio, providing a nice way to enjoy the coastline from above, either by bike or on foot.

Currently, the bike path is closed. A slide just west of El Capitan caused State Parks to close it but you can easily walk around the fencing and continue on but if you do be very careful where the damage is the most extensive.

Background

On the Walk


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Last Updated: Monday, November 10, 2014