La Cumbre Picnic Area -



Santa Barbara,Santa Ynez Mountains

A small gathering of tables just a few yards off of East Camino Cielo with spectacular views of the coastline. Perfect for a rest spot on a bike ride or for a picnic with the family. Short loop road leads up to La Cumbre Peak and the lookout.

Jim Blakley Notes

Elevation: 3985': In Spanish, La Cumbre means summit or top. The Chumash name was "tiptipshup" meaning high, high hill. An early name for the peak was Tiptop Mountain.

Located on top of the Santa Ynez Mountains north of Santa Barbara. The peak has long been the goal of visitors using the Rattlesnake or the Chamber of Commerce trails. On August I4, 1914, a newspaper article laments vandalism that destroyed the mast on top of the rock at the summit of the peak. In 1923, for the sum of $1,263.00, a fire tower was built on the top of the summit rock. The WPA built a road on parts of the old Chamber of Commerce trail. The road was called Depression Drive because it was built in the early 1930's to provide work during the depression. Then on October 15, 1945 the present, but abandoned lookout was completed. Fires can be spotted much faster by airplanes flying over the forest. None of the lookouts in the forest are in in use any more.

The peak has a number of native and planted pine trees under which are located three tables and two pit toilets. Park on Camino Cielo Road at the gate and walk up the old road to the top with a picnic basket. The views are exceptional both to the islands and to the Santa Barbara backcountry.

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Last Updated: Sunday, May 3, 2015