Jalama Beach -

The Best Santa Barbara Santa Ynez Valley

On the Ride


Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult • Paved or Dirt: Paved Path • Mileage: 35.4
Elevation Gain: 2500 ft. •

This is a great country ride leading over the western end of the Santa Ynez Mountains down to one of Santa Barbara County’s prettiest beaches. This is ranch country, and in the spring as green as it gets. Jalama Beach County Park makes an excellent place to relax and enjoy a walk at the ocean’s edge before heading back. By bike you’ll have a much more enriching experience than if you had come in by automobile.





Ride Details

  • Use Fees : Entry fee for day use at the county park is $10 per vehicle. No charge for bikes.
  • Length : 28 miles out and back (from Lompoc 37 miles).
  • Gain : Total elevation gain out-and-back 2500’.
  • Difficulty : Moderately difficult to difficult.
  • Path : Paved country road.

Find Other Similar Trails

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Points of Interests: Out & Back

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Driving Directions
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Ride Log


On The Ride

Jalama Road is perhaps the single most beautiful road in the entire valley system. In springtime its emerald green grasses and oak hillsides and canyons are magnificent, but this is an excellent ride in any season.

There is a lot of climbing on this out-and-back ride, and many riders may want to ride only partway out to Jalama Beach—or better yet, go with someone who will drop you off at the beginning of Jalama Road and pick you up at the ocean’s edge.

From Lompoc drive (or ride) 4.2 miles along Highway 1 to the Jalama Road turnoff. There is an excellent spot to park on Jalama Road a half-mile up from Highway 1. This is a good place to start your ride. 

The first half-hour of the ride is pretty easy and gives you a chance to enjoy the countryside and stretch your legs before you begin climbing up to Jualachichi Summit. It is 1.5 miles of steadily rising uphill most of this distance, with a last steep section near the end. The incredible viewpoint at the 1,100-foot crest makes it all worthwhile.

Next is a well-deserved downhill and eight miles of wandering through magical Jalama Canyon, with a number of short climbs along the way. These short ups and downs add to the total elevation gain and make the ride a bit more strenuous. 

Land near Jalama Creek was once a Chumash Indian settlement named “Halama.” In 1943, 23.5 acres of privately owned land was donated to the County of Santa Barbara, creating the park. 

There are 98 campsites, all overlooking the ocean or beachfront should you bring the BOB. Each site has a picnic table and barbecue pit, with hot showers, restrooms, and water nearby. Campsites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Only group areas may be reserved in advance. For information call (805) 736-3504. 

Your time at the beach will most likely be so enjoyable you will almost forget the ride back. Unfortunately, what is lost must be regained. However, if you kick into your all-day pace and take your time to appreciate the surroundings, the fourteen-mile return trip will be just as pleasant as your ride in.

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Last Updated: Saturday, August 9, 2014