Gaviota Peak Trail

Los Padres National Forest, California

Distance3.1mi
Elevation Gain2,886ft
Trailhead Elevation300ft
Top2,452ft
Elevation Min/Max300/2452ft
Elevation Start/End300/300ft

Gaviota Peak Trail

Gaviota Peak Trail is a hiking trail in Santa Barbara County, California. It is within Los Padres National Forest and Gaviota State Park. It is 3.1 miles long and begins at 300 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,886 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. The trail ends near Gaviota Peak (elevation 2,451 feet). This trail connects with the following: Trespass Trail.

Gaviota Peak Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes Santa Barbara (Falcon Guides)
Bryn Fox
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"This short hike marks the beginning of the longer trek up Gaviota Peak. After a 0.5-mile uphill climb, you are rewarded with a small cluster of natural hot springs where you can soak your worries away in the sulfur pools. Head farther to summit 2,000-foot-high Gaviota Peak, or use this as your turnaround point for a pleasant, family-friendly hike. The highest peak in the area, Gaviota Peak stands at 2,458 feet, towering over Gaviota Beach below with views down the coast. The hike all the way up to the peak does offer excellent views of the area if you are up for a challenging uphill trek. But for those looking for an easier, more family- friendly adventure, the Gaviota Hot Springs, a short ways up the trail to the peak, make a lovely destination. Begin your hike at the locked gate at the end of the parking area. Walk up the dirt road beyond the gate. At 0.2 mile the trail intersects the Tunnel View and Trespass Trail on your right. Stay left on the main trail."
100 Classic Hikes in Southern California (The Mountaineers Books)
Allen Riedel
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"The trail is an old fire road, very well maintained to both the springs and the peak. It begins with a well-signed trailhead at the southern end of the parking lot. The springs enter into a large upper basin and a lower pool. The upper pool is both hotter and clearer than the lower one, which is actually quite milky, but prettier and full of reedy plants. Some people may want to take the half-mile trek into the springs and soak in the hot waters for a generous amount of time before returning to the parking area. Others may wish to hit the peak in the early morning light and then return for a leisurely time at the springs."
Hiking and Backpacking Santa Barbara and Ventura (Wilderness Press)
Craig R. Carey
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"From the Gaviota State Park trailhead, this hike follows a very clear route by way of the old Gaviota Peak Fire Road (with a side trip to Gaviota Hot Springs) into the national forest to Gaviota Peak (2,458')."

Gaviota Peak Trail Trip Reports

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2/14/2009
The views begin early and last throughout the hike. Plan on approx. 1.5 to 2 hours going up and 1 to 1.5 returning depending on your pace. Overall a good hike with amazing views. I had T-Mobile cell service the entire hike. Plan on paying $2 for parking. Guide is accurate but seemed to underestimate the distance, would recommend if you have the time.
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1/29/2007
nice- good hike, pretty strenuous, a little dry, great views-- take the turn off to the hot springs...totally worth it. fun!
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7/8/2006
The trail is quite a hike to the top, but once there, the veiws are outrageously beautiful. It's a great workout!
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5/27/2006
The trip was amazing, and the view from the top was simply spectacular!! My group of 4 made the trip in just under 3 hrs. The trail is easy to follow, and provided great views from start to finish.
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1/30/2006
This was a very nice trail with incredible views towards both the hills and the ocean. It was a little steeper than I expected, but not bad.
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6/26/2005
Rode the trail Sunday late afternoon and did not see a soul. The lower section along the creek was very overgrown, so I took the ridge route. The climb can be steep and technical in short sections, but ride is only moderately challenging overall. The raio tower is a must and definately worth the extra effort. The view is so awesome, you will want to stay awhile and enjoy the epic scenery. The ride back is fun with some downhill runs that you can get as crazy as you dare.
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1/2/2005
I read about this hotspring in Sunset magazine so my husband and I were excited about checking it out. We were very disappointed to say the least. The water was very murky, extremely shallow and very lukewarm/cool. The entire pool was about the same size as a large jacuzzi but only about 12 inches deep. Don't waste your time. The people hanging out there were strange and unfriendly and it was as if they were the self-proclaimed protectors of the hot spring (which was not even hot) and did not want outsiders invading their territory. I don't know what hotspring this website was describing but it certainly was not this one.
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3/1/1961
If you are on a road, not a path, then you are on a neighboring property that is private property, not the Gaviota State Park where the hot springs and peak is located on. Much of the trail is steep and take water because the winds will dry you quick. Parking fee is on honor system with envelopes available at the parking lot. Rangers do check.
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Gaviota Peak Trail Photos

Trail Information

Los Padres National Forest
Nearby City
Gaviota State Park
Parks
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Hot Springs
Features
(805) 968-1033
Local Contacts
USGS Solvang
Local Maps

Trail Log