Gaviota Peak

18-Feb-03 (Private Hike)

By: Gabriele Rau

< P>Spring is a perfect time to hike Gaviota Peak. The TH is easy to find, take exit Hwy 1 from US 101, turn right and drive to the end. There is a box where you should deposit $2, because this is still State Park Property. There are many high cairns along the road up to the Hot Springs, somebody must have delighted in building them. This time we took the trail to the springs, but one can continue on the road. The water in the Hot Springs was rather lukewarm and murky, but had no hydrogensulfide smell as we noticed on previous hikes. It is best to cross at the outlet of the large pool and then take the trail uphill to the left. There are several use trails, just stay uphill, left and soon the road is reached. After about one mile past the Hot Springs a sign indicates the boundary State Park/National Forest. Climbing steadily the road turns sometimes into a trail, then to road again. After continuing for another mile there is a fallen down gate with a sign ‘No Motor Vehicles’ lying on the right side of the road. Shortly after this an uphill trail turns right, leading to the summit. The old road continues to the left. The summit has a large stone cairn and a large can with the sign-in booklets.

The views are fantastic! All the Islands, the coastline, Santa Barbara and green hills! No wonder we met two photographers. One of them told us the trail continuing past the peak leads through private property, but many people hike it. It is named Trespass Trail, forking off the main road near the beginning, and it is a slightly longer distance. We did not try it. This is a great peak, for the hike and the outstanding views!

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