With its signature grand oaks marking the park’s ambling hills, and blue ocean waves rocking the shoreline, Gaviota State Park affords a relaxed charm and active appeal to its year round visitors. Offering boating, hiking, biking, diving and fishing, Gaviota has proven itself to be one of California’s most definable outdoor destinations.
Named by Spanish explorers venturing along Gaviota’s shores in 1769, the name “Gaviota” means seagull. As one of California’s most popular destinations, Gaviota’s shoreline accounts for 50% of that state’s rural coastline. This park’s natural beauty; its rolling hills, meandering trails and sandy beaches make for a relaxing vacation spot popular with beachgoers, campers and hikers alike from all over the United States.
For hikers, Gaviota represents some of the most tranquil and mildly challenging woodland paths available in California. Rated as easy to moderate, Gaviota‘s sage and fennel lined hiking trails, fire dirt roads and paths offer outstanding views of both the blue waters of the Pacific as well as the Channel Islands. Upon reaching the Gaviota peak, hikers are treated to expansive vistas from both sides of the park. Along the east side trails, interested hikers can stop to partake of the Gaviota Hot Springs. With their lukewarm waters situated along the path at ½ mile into your hike, these natural springs invite visiting hikers to a soothing break from their travel. While on the west, hikers can engage in loop trails of varying lengths and challenges.
For sun bathers, Gaviota’s cool waters and powdery sands welcome a relaxing tenure. With the area’s mild summer temperatures averaging 64 degrees, beachgoers can enjoy liberal swimming and sunbathing nearly all year long. Sheltered between sand hills and the ocean, Gaviota’s beaches offer visitors a unique seclusion lost to many other beach areas along the California coast. Sunbathers can look forward to both privacy and views of the overhead train trestle bridge framing the entrance to the beach.
Camping in Gaviota makes for an exceptional outdoor experience. With 41 campsites developed to accommodate trailers up to 25 feet and recreational vehicles as large as 27 feet, camping at Gaviota can be as convenient or as natural as desired. For the more down to earth camping experience, tent sites are also available. Offering campers of all preferences with clean and handy restrooms and showers, campsite store, ample parking, telephones and a comfort station, enjoying your outdoor experience while camping in Gaviota will make for a memorable visit.
As the only state park in California with its own fishing pier complete with catch cleaning areas as well as a boat hoist, the Gaviota pier offers fishing at a slight distance from the surf while enjoying the sights and sounds of the rail way above and the splashing waves below. Open 24 hours for campers and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for daytime visitors, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy their pier visit all day long or well into the night.
Campsite reservations should be made seven months in advance. Check in time is 2 p.m. and check out is at 12 noon. Reservations, fees, availability and pricing can be confirmed by calling 1-800-444-7275/ (TTY) @ 1-800-274-7275 or online at www.parks.ca.gov or at www.reserveamerica.com. Gaviota State Park is wheelchair accessible.
No more than 8 persons per campsite area.
Dogs are permitted if leashed at all times and confined to the campsite between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Any animal which poses a nuisance will be denied its stay.
Quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at the campsites are offered and upheld for the satisfaction and consideration of all campers at Gaviota.
Hikers and mountain cyclists are encouraged to call the rangers stations to check on seasonal weather conditions before embarking on their trail plans.
The pier’s boat hoist is active between 7 a.m. and closes at sunset. The price for day use at the pier is $5.00 and is available between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The pier is lighted and available 24 hours for campers.
Located 33 miles west of Santa Barbara on US 101, Gaviota State Park offers nature enthusiasts a menagerie of outdoor activities sure to please even the most discerning of adventurers.