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Gaviota Wind Caves

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Beautiful wind sculpted caves, incredible ocean vistas.
Near:Goleta, CA
Distance:2.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:600 ft
Hike Time:1.5 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: This is a semi-strenuous but short in and out hike. The begins trail following an old road along gaviota creek moving inland. This part is mostly flat with lots of riparian birds. As you head towards the hills, you can see final destination as series of holes in the sandstone outcroppings ahead. After about 3/4 of a mile you will start the ascending switchback, which was very well-maintained. Continuing along the ridgeline you'll come to the first wind cave. Cross through the wind cave and the trail gets much steeper with a couple of switch backs, until you reach the bottom of the second cave. To left is a trail, or you can scramble straight up. The views from the top are not to be believed.
Trailhead: From the 101 exit at Gaviota Campground, just before the entrance to the campground,veer to the right and up the hill. Park in parking area and follow the road beyond the gate and mountain lion danger sign. (Lat:34.28 Lon:-120.13)
Trail Guides for Gaviota Wind Caves :
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: California state parks 805-968-1033
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Erick Pfaff, who has posted  2 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 3   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Scott on 11/17/2010
I enjoyed this hike and here are some photos and videos

Reviewed by HD on 8/29/2010
It was a nice hike pretty views

Reviewed by Jared on 8/15/2010
Trail is a bit confusing at the start and pavement is less than optimal, but the caves area great and the views are good too. Too bad the freeway is so close. Nice photos here:

Reviewed by TZ on 4/26/2010
hiked on 4/24/2010. beautiful scenery, nice breeze, perfect day out. very difficult and steep in areas. not a well maintained trail. narrow, very overgrown in many places and several soft spots on the trail. wear long pants and beware of snakes! large birds gliding around the trail, but seemed harmless. great views of the ocean and hills from the top wind caves. very much enjoyed this hike and i'm a beginner! not too many people on the trail. very peaceful. several people brought their dogs which did not present any problems. would definitley hike this trail again! great workout! NOTE: exit at gaviota state beach, there is no exit from 101 for gaviota campgrounds.

Reviewed by LS on 2/2/2010
We liked this hike a lot. We just hiked it after the rains on Sunday and the ground wasn't muddy at all, very green with different flowers. We also saw 4 of the same large bird of prey but we can't figure out what it was. They were soaring all through the valley without flapping their wings. They were very dark brown or back with a much larger wingspan than a raven. Too dark for golden eagles. We were thinking they could be zone-tailed hawks because those have been spotted in SB. Any ideas? There were about 10 cars in the parking lot but not enough people where you are running into them constantly during the hike. Definitely wear long pants because the narrow trail is a little overgrown at points. Steep hike, but good workout. Great vie

Reviewed by decker on 4/12/2009
very nice. it took us an hour and 45 minutes. we took our dog as well. saw some prints for mountain lions. the caves are really cool! some areas of soft, sandy inclines.

Reviewed by Erika Housley on 3/7/2009
Went today and we Loved it...took all 4 of my kids ages 5,7,9,and 14..It was a clear day and we could see all the way to the horizon. Not windy at all. Trail was a little muddy from recent rain, but we made it past the first cave and did a very breif rock climb into the 3rd cave. What a blast and big accomplishment for the kidos who are finally old enough to complete a non beginer route.

Reviewed by Stargaz3r on 2/14/2008
Went 2/09/08. Wonderful hike. Not windy at all when we went. Don't drive into the campground entrance; there's an entrance to the right where you can park your car. Go down the paved road and you'll find the start of the trail to your left. Hike starts off easy but becomes steeper as you reach the first cave. Definitely continue on to the higher caves! When you reach the top of those caves (facing caves, trail is on the left), you'll find the small ammo box where you can leave a memory, take a memory. What a great idea!! Apparently, you can keep on going to a radio transmitter and there's a wonderful view from there but we didn't have the time. The view from the top of the caves was enough for us!

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Santa Barbara County Hiking, Santa Barbara County Trails, Santa Barbara County Hikes

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