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Lizard's Mouth -


Overview
Access
Things to Know
On the Trail
Gallery

Overview

Difficulty: Easy • Mileage: 1
Location: Santa Ynez Mountains
Features: Sunset, Viewpoint
User Type: Hiking, Rock Climbing


Highlights

Lizard’s Mouth is located in a large amphitheater-shaped rock formation at the point where the Coldwater Sandstone formation crosses over the Santa Ynez Mountains. Its chaparral environment is interspersed with large, massive sandstone outcroppings. The forces of wind and water have created an intricate network of caves and crevices that are wonderful to explore. Unfortunately, it has also been trashed by careless visitors and it is not nearly so attractive as it once was. You can help out by coming up here and helping collect the trash every so often.

The Basics

  • Length : Varies. There is plenty of places to explore. Bedrock is just 200 yards from the road.
  • Gain : Almost level
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Path : Dirt path leads to the boulder field.
  • Season : All year.
  • Restrictions : Hiking and bouldering
  • Canine : Ok for dogs off leash. There are plenty of places a dog will not be able to go.
  • Admin : Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara District

Things to Look For

  • Points of Interest : Sunset,Viewpoint


Find Other Similar Trails

Difficulty: Easy
Points of Interests: SunsetViewpoint
User Types: HikersRock Climbers
Locations: Santa Ynez Mountains

Links & Resources

Gallery

Hike Details



  • Length : Varies. There is plenty of places to explore. Bedrock is just 200 yards from the road.
  • Gain : Almost level
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Path : Dirt path leads to the boulder field.
  • Season : All year.
  • Restrictions : Hiking and bouldering
  • Canine : Ok for dogs off leash. There are plenty of places a dog will not be able to go.
  • Admin : Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara District

Access / Getting There

  1. Turn left on West Camino Cielo and drive approximately 4 miles to a point just before the Winchester Gun Club, which is on the left.
  2. If you reach the Gun Club you’ve gone a hundred yards too far.
  3. The trail is only 200 yards in length but there are a number of routes that will get you there. The easiest is the one located right where the road turns. It has a small Forest Service sign you should be able to spot easily.
  4. You’ll know when you get there. Once you start scambling over the bedrock, look for the Lizard is off to the right.

 

Things to Know

There may be broken glass in places, remnants of past parties, which is a good reason not to bring your dog with you. Each year the Santa Barbara Ranger District and other volunteer groups have a cleanup day at Lizard's Mouth. If you'd like to volunteer you can find out more from the District office at (805) 967-3481.

In August 2000 Jesse James Hollywood ordered the kidnapping and murder of 15 year old Nicholas Markowitz as revenge for a $1,200 debt his older brother, Benjamin, owed him. The murder took place at Lizard's Mouth, which is also where a shallow grave was dug to place the body. Hollywood fled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he managed to remain until 2005, until he was captured and extradited to the US. Finally, in July 2009, Hollywood was found guilty of kidnapping and first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The 2006 movie Alpha Dog, is based on this story.

Background

Trip Log

On The Trail

There really isn't a route to follow, other than the short trail you'll take to reach the boulder field. Once you are there you spot more open bedrock on the right that will take you to Lizard's Mouth proper and a series of boulderfields, crevasses, ups and downs and places to explore to the east.

Unfortunately in the last few years Lizard's Mouth has been spray painted througout the area, both destroying its character and giving it the feeling more of a freak zone than an explorer's paradise. Perhaps the ghost of the Nicholas Markowitz haunts the place but what once was a fantastic place to rock and boulder hop issn't anymore. Still, it is one of the best places for those who love to boulder and on most days you'll spot plenty of climbers testing their skills on the rocks.

On The Bike

On The Run

On The Walk


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Last Updated: Sunday, November 9, 2014