Hike to the Gaviota Wind Caves

Gaviota Wind Caves Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Derek Mathewson

Once making it to the wind caves, the views are endless with beautiful green hills and views of Gaviota State Beach. If you have an imagination and enjoy rock hopping and cave exploring, this is your hike!

Caves and epic views...need I say more?! That's what you'll encounter on this short 2.5 mile out and back hike to the Gaviota Wind Caves in the San Ynez Mountains, West of Santa Barbara. The Gaviota Wind Caves are a sandstone formation located 1 mile from the Pacific Ocean. One good thing about this hike is it's right off the 101 freeway...and cost free! The bad thing about this hike is that you can see the highway from the Wind Caves. It personally didn't bother me, but I overheard another couple complaining about it as they bypassed me on the trail, so I figured I'd share it.

To get to the Wind Caves, take the Gaviota Beach Rd exit, and stay left. Then follow the road slightly to the right going uphill passing a pay booth. On your right you'll see a small parking area, which is where the start of the trail is. From here follow the paved road for the first half of the trail until it becomes a single track that climbs rapidly to a ridge running down from the caves. This part of the hike is definitely much more enjoyable and pleasant. After gaining the ridge, continue on the trail to the left toward the exposed pocked sandstone.

Once you arrive, step inside the opening to the lower set of caves and explore! A path around the lower set of caves leads you to the top of the upper wind caves, where there is an eye-shaped arched rock that can be seen from below. Climb around the wind-carved caves, have a seat and enjoy the fine view it has to offer. The Wind Caves are a great place to explore and enjoy views of the mountains and ocean. When you're finished rock scrambling and photographing, head back the same way you came.

Just a little recommendation: If you plan to do this hike later in the evening, wear sweats and/or a sweater, as the cool breeze really starts to kick in!

Dogs are not allowed on this hike. No fee or permit is required to hike to the Gaviota Wind Caves, so get out and enjoy! Happy Trails!

Thinking about camping in the area? Check out Camp at Gaviota State Park.

Distance

2.5 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

600 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Romantic
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

Avila / Pismo Beach KOA

San Luis Obispo, California

Santa Margarita KOA

Santa Margarita, California

Ventura Ranch KOA

Santa Paula, California

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Camp at Gaviota State Park

Adventure

Relax at Nojoqui Falls

Adventure

Camp at Refugio Campground

Adventure

Camp at El Capitan Canyon

More Nearby Adventures