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Gaviota State Park, Beach & Beach to Backcountry Trail

Gaviota State Park view from Hollister Ranch - Gaviota_Beach_Trail/3-5-11-110.jpg
View of Gaviota State Park from Hollister Ranch Road

If you can look past the train trestles towering above the beach or the fact Hwy 101 bisects the park you can find some nice scenery at Gaviota SP.  You will find miles of trails here, sweeping from the beach inland for a couple of miles into the mountains.  Gaviota Creek ends in a small estuary right on the beach.  The campgrounds are only a few steps away from the sand.  Gaviota State Park is one of three located on the scenic Gaviota Coast stretching from Goleta to Gaviota Pass.  Gaviota SP is about 33 miles North of Santa Barbara. 

The park warns visitors to be very aware of mountain lions here (a boy was attacked in 1992 while hiking), apparently the big cats or their tracks have been observed here many times since.  See my Safety Page which includes tips about mountain lion safety and other creatures you might find here, such as rattlesnakes. 

For more information, including camping reservations, see the official Gaviota State Park website.

Pics below show the Beach to Backcountry Trail head from Hollister Ranch Road (which is a paved road through Gaviota leading to private property).  This trail connects to a network of trails in the mountains on the West side of Gaviota Pass, read more about this trail on the California State Parks Gaviota page.  Click any picture on this page to enlarge.

Beach to Backcountry Trailhead - Gaviota_Beach_Trail/3-5-11-125.jpg
Beach to Backcountry Trailhead off Hollister Ranch Rd

view from Beach to Backcountry Trail - Gaviota_Beach_Trail/3-5-11-117.jpg
View of green rolling hills from Beach to Backcountry Trail, 3/5/11

Beach to Backcountry Trail view - Gaviota_Beach_Trail/3-5-11-119.jpg
Rugged hillsides, view from Beach to Backcountry Trail

Beyond the train bridge the beach has some nice views.  The campsites have some beautiful views of the surrounding hills. 

Gaviota Beach view to the East - Gaviota_Beach/3-5-11-095.jpg
Shoreline view down the coast, 3/5/11

Gaviota Beach view to the West - Gaviota_Beach/3-5-11-098.jpg
Gaviota Beach, view up the coast, 3/5/11

Gaviota Campground - Gaviota_Beach/3-5-11-104.jpg
Campsite #30

Pics below on the East end of the beach Gaviota Creek makes its way into the Pacific.  As the creek hits the beach it forms a small estuary, a favorite spot for seabirds.

Gaviota Creek estuary - Gaviota_Beach/3-5-11-087.jpg
Gaviota Creek estuary at Gaviota Beach, 3/5/11

Gaviota Creek -- Gaviota_Beach/3-5-11-093.jpg
Gaviota Creek at the beach

Click here for a Gaviota State Park Map on the California State Parks website (also shows hiking trails).

Also see:
Gaviota Hot Springs

Other California State Parks & pages on the Gaviota Coastline:

Refugio State Beach
El Capitan State Beach
Gaviota Coast