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Santa Barbara Parks and Lakes

Parks and Lakes

Santa Barbara County Parks 
610 Mission Canyon Rd Santa Barbara
(805) 568-2461 

Channel Islands National Park 
1901 Spinnaker Dr Ventura
(805) 658-5730 
The Channel Islands are made up of five islands: Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, San Miguel Island, and Santa Barbara Island. The islands offer wonderful places to hike, camp, snorkel, kayak, birdwatch, and take photographs. The islands are only accessible by park concessionaire boats and planes or private boat. Advanced planning is highly recommended. There is no transportation available on the islands. All areas must be accessed on foot or by private boat or kayak. 

Chumash Painted Cave
(805) 733-3713 
This sandstone cave houses religious drawings by Chumash Native Americans that date back to the 1600s. Located above Santa Barbara in a steep canyon, the site preserves these fine examples of Native American art on the side walls of the cave. The site is three miles south of the San Marcos Pass: Take Highway 154 out of Santa Barbara and turn right on Painted Caves Road. The cave is located on the left, about two miles up a steep, narrow road. 

Gaviota State Park
(805) 968-1033 
The park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing and camping, despite high winds that often blow through the area. The park is located 33 miles west of Santa Barbara on U.S. 101. 

Isla Vista County Park
(805) 681-5650
A true neighborhood park, Isla Vista features unsurpassed views of the Pacific coast. Enjoy the spacious sun decks created as an “Art in the Park” project. Park Features: Benches or Picnic Tables, Bird Watching, Hiking Trails. Exit from Highway 101 on Los Carneros Road and continue south to El Colegio where you will take a right; then turn left on Camino Corto and head for the coast. 

Laguna Lake Park 
504 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo
(805) 781-7222 
The park encompasses 450 acres, including a 25 acre lake. The lake can be used for fishing, row boating, power boating under 1 horsepower. The area was once used by the Chumash Indians for hunting and fishing. Surrounding Laguna Lake is a migratory stop and home to a variety of water-fowl, the park features three small picnic areas, a large barbecue area and a children’s playground. 

Lake Cachuma 
HC 59 - Hwy 154 Santa Barbara
(805) 686-5054
Renowned for its natural beauty and variety of fun things to do. More than 420 campsites, 90 with full electrical, water and sewer hookups, and 38 with electrical and water hookups, can accommodate any size tent or RV. Each campsite contains a picnic table and BBQ pit, with showers, restrooms and water nearby. Features: playgrounds, lake cruises, the nature center, fishing piers, and hiking trails. 

Lake Nacimiento 
10625 Nacimiento Lake Dr Paso Robles
(800) 323-3839 
All facilities are open to the public. Jet skis are available for rent at Nacimiento. Swimming pool, hot tub, horseshoe pits, beach and picnic areas are all available at the lake. Although Nacimiento is wonderful for water•skiing, boating and camping, it is a fisherman’s haven. Nacimiento is a very deep lake and contains healthy populations of large mouth and white bass as well sunfish, catfish and crappie.

Lake San Antonio 
74255 San Antonio Rd Bradley 
(800) 310-2313
Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, biking or just relaxing and enjoying the view. South Shore is the most developed area of the lake with 700 camp•sites. North Shore offers 400 campsites, a resort store and access to miles of shoreline camping. The lake has an abundance of bass, striped bass, catfish and sunfish. 

Live Oak Camp
(805) 686-5076
Between the San Raphael and Santa Ynez Mountains lie 40 undeveloped acres that were once a campsite for cowboys. Live Oak is reservable for large group functions only. 

Lopez Lake 
6800 Lopez Dr Arroyo Grande
(805) 788-2381
Activities found at the lake include swimming, fishing, horseback riding, wind surfing, boating, a water slide, hiking and camping. There’s a marina store, snack bar, and showers. This lake is well maintained and lots of fun. Lopez Lake is just ten miles east of Arroyo Grande off Hwy 101. 

Los Padres National Forest 
6755 Hollister Ave, Ste 150 Goleta
(805) 968-6640
The forest has 1,200 miles of trails, including two designated National Recreation Trails; the Piedra Blanca trail and the Santo Cruz/Aliso trail. Sea otters and sea lions, along with a variety of seabirds, provide endless hours of viewing entertainment. Set on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, Kirk Creek campground offers an opportunity to enjoy it all • sunsets, wildlife and ocean. For panoramic views of the ocean and coastline, drive to either Bottchers Gap or Ponderosa campgrounds. 

Manning County Park 
San Ysidro Road at Santa Rosa Lane Montecito
(805) 969-0201
The park features a variety of ball fields, BBQ grills, benches or picnic tables, bike trails, bird watching, equestrian trails, group picnic areas, hiking trails, horseshoes, playground, restrooms, and tennis. The manicured landscaping and specimen trees are striking in the portion that was once a private estate. 

Montana de Oro State Park 
2886 Pecho Valley Rd Los Osos 
(805) 528-0513
The park features rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons and hills. Naturalists and backpackers enjoy the solitude and freedom found along the park’s trails. There are also mountain biking and equestrian trails, with over 8,000 acres of incredible wilderness nestled at the end of a peninsula. There’s a primitive campground in the canyon, located just a few hundred feet from the Visitor Center and Park Headquarters. The campground provides 50 campsites for tents and trailers. There’s tables, firepits, drinking water, and primitive toilets nearby. There are no showers or dump stations. 

Morro Bay State Park 
141 Sandpiper Circle Morro Bay
(805) 772-2560
Features a lagoon and natural bay habitat, sailing, fishing, hiking, and bird watching. Enjoy a colorful marina and an 18-hole public golf course. On the bay’s northeast edge is a pristine saltwater marsh that supports a thriving bird population. The bay’s most prominent landmark is Morro Rock. The park museum has exhibits that cover natural features and cultural history. 

Oceanview Park 
Greenwell Ave and Via Rea
(805) 681-5650
Visitors who want to take in ocean views, have a picnic or hike the trails will enjoy this park. Features: benches or picnic tables, bird watching, hiking trails, restrooms. 

Rocky Nook County Park 
610 Mission Canyon Rd Santa Barbara 
(805) 681-5650
19-acre park set among the oak and sycamore trees overlooking Mission Creek. A good oak woodland habitat with woodpeckers & migrating songbirds. There are great trails and scenic views. Features: bbq grills, benches or picnic tables, group picnic areas, hiking trails, horseshoes, playground, restrooms.
Santa Margarita Lake 
4695 Santa Margarita Lake Rd Santa Margarita
(805) 781-5930
A great fishing lake. It is open year-round, and has good supplies of bass and catfish. Boats must be off the lake at dusk. No swimming, water skiing or jet skiing. Camping within the lake’s park boundaries. The lake and campgrounds are operated by San Luis Obispo County. Santa Margarita Lake is seven miles southeast of Hwy 101 and Hwy 58. 

Toro Canyon County Park
(805) 568-2465 
A fairly large county park within easy driving distance of the city of Santa Barbara. This heavily wooded park has complete facilities for small and large groups, playgrounds for children, hiking trails, plenty of parking and a stream that runs through the middle. 

Tucker’s Grove County Park
(805) 967-1112
San Antonio Creek meanders through this oak woodland environment, where group outings of up to 400 people are popular. Hikers may take the long creek side trail to San Marcos Pass. The upper Kiwanis Meadows provides a sizable grassy area often used for wedding receptions. Features: Ball Fields, BBQ Grills, Benches or Picnic Tables, Bike Trails, Equestrian Trails, Group Picnic Areas, Hiking Trails, Horseshoes, Playground, Restrooms. 

Zaca Lake
(805) 688-5699
Zaca Lake is a naturally occurring 20-acre mineral spring lake. Activities: hiking, biking, swimming, boating and wildlife and bird watch•ing. It is a sanctuary to hundreds of different birds and animals. Its 20-acre mineral spring lake is shared by black bears, deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, gray foxes, striped and spotted skunks, badgers, Pacific chorus frogs, southern alligator lizards and wild turkeys, among other animals.
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