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Gaviota State Park - 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
Things to do: Beach Walking, Camping, Hiking, Picnicking, Tide Pooling, Surfing, Swimming

Gaviota State Park charges a day use fee to use the beach but if you don’t mind walking a bit you can park up at the Beach to Backcountry trailhead and go from there. The walk is to the east and is spectacular. At low tide and with a shuttle you can walk all the way to the Arroyo Hondo Trestles.

Beach Walk Details

  • Length : 2 miles east to the Vista Del Mar beach access; 2.5 miles east to San Onofre Beach; 5.5 miles east to the Arroyo Hondo Trestles.
  • Tide Notes : You can head west from the pier only at extremely low tides; to the east best if the tide is a 2.0 or lower.
  • Cautions : You may need to get your feet wet crossing Gaviota Creek when it is flowing.
  • 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
Beach Activities : Beach Walking , Camping , Hiking , Picnicking , Tide Pooling , Surfing , Swimming

Links & Resources


Get Directions To The Trailhead

Driving Directions
Get Directions to Gaviota State Park which is located at 34.470618,-120.227509.

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Gallery

Beach Walk Details

  • Length : 2 miles east to the Vista Del Mar beach access; 2.5 miles east to San Onofre Beach; 5.5 miles east to the Arroyo Hondo Trestles.
  • Tide Notes : You can head west from the pier only at extremely low tides; to the east best if the tide is a 2.0 or lower.
  • Cautions : You may need to get your feet wet crossing Gaviota Creek when it is flowing.
  • 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 23.5 miles (32 miles from downtown Santa Barbara) to the turnoff into Gaviota State Park.
  2. Be sure to get into the fast lane as you round the curve leading into Gaviota Canyon and signal well ahead of time as you'll need to slow down to get into the left turn lane.
  3. Be extremely careful crossing as the oncoming traffic is heavy and fast.
  4. Follow the narrow road for .3 miles, cross Gaviota Creek, then bear left to the beach. 
  5. There is a lot of parking space within the park but you can avoid the daily use fee by parking at the trailhead for the Beach to Backcountry hike and walk down from there.

 


Things to Know

Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola Expedition who supposedly killed a seagull while camping here in 1769.  Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that crosses Gaviota Creek high above the day-use parking lot, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing and camping, despite high winds that often blow through the area. A pier on the west end of the beach is used by anglers, and scuba divers and surfers use a boat hoist on the pier to access the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel.  

The pier is currently closed after huge waves destroyed the last 30-50' of the pier. Boat launch also closed until further notice.

Dogs are not allowed on the beach, on or off leash.

Background

On the Walk


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Last Updated: Monday, November 10, 2014