Gaviota Peak Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.5 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
659 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Gaviota Peak Hike

The Gaviota Peak Trail is a heart-pumping expedition in the Los Padres National Forest that boasts unrivaled views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Those seeking a challenging day-hike will enjoy this adventure.

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Route Description for Gaviota Peak Hike

Indulge yourself in wonderful mountain scenery, lush vegetation, and maritime views along the Gaviota Peak Hike. Traveling through chaparral shrubs and sparse tree stands, much of this hike is exposed to the elements, so be sure to pack plenty of water and wear SPF on sunny days. Note the path is not well signposted. Thus the trail GPS will prove useful. Packed with elevation change and wonderful scenery, this route is a must-add to the adventure itinerary.

Setting out from the trailhead off California State Route 1, the Gaviota Peak Trail travels eastwardly up the fire road. Soon after your departure, you will reach a collection of hot springs on Hot Springs Creek. Beyond this point, the path will zigzag up the cliffside and over several creeks. Take breaks as needed and rehydrate as you climb. Wandering through brush most of the way, you will be granted the odd tree stand, which boasts the perfect opportunity to cool off.

After navigating a seemingly endless set of switchbacks, you will ultimately reach the summit of Gaviota Peak. Marvel in the beauty and grandeur of the encompassing mountains and the expansive scene of the dramatic Californian coastline. After reveling in the panoramas, retrace your footing down the path back to the trailhead.

Getting to the Gaviota Peak Hike Trailhead

Access the Gaviota Peak Trailhead is located off California State Route 1.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground


  • When to do


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Gaviota Peak Hike Elevation Graph

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