Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola Expedition who supposedly killed a seagull while camping here in 1769. Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that crosses Gaviota Creek high above the day-use parking lot, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing and camping, despite high winds that often blow through the area. A pier on the west end of the beach is used by anglers, and scuba divers and surfers use a boat hoist on the pier to access the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. Visitors can explore the rugged upland portions of the park from a trailhead in the parking area. Ambitious hikers can climb to Gaviota Peak that offers a spectacular view of the coast and the Channel Islands.
Marine Protected Areas
Gaviota State Park is also home to the Kashtayit State Marine Conservation Area, and boater launching from Gaviota may be able access the Point Conception State Marine Reserve. Each area has its own rules regarding fishing and the take of living marine resources. Please visit http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa/mpa_summary.asp for specific rules regarding each area.
The park is located 33 miles north of Santa Barbara on U.S. Highway 101.
RV Rental Delivery Policy
Trailers may be rented from 101 RV Rental Concession. This is the only permitted business for delivery of RVs in this state park. For any questions contact Channel Coast District office at (805) 585-1850
101 RV Rental 877-392-2674
- Hours of Operation:
call the park
- Park Office Telephone:
- Available Online Reservation:
Upcoming Weekend: YES
Within 2 Weeks: YESUpdated: 5/25/2013 12:08 PM
The park is open daily from 7:00 AM until Sunset.
Campground is accessible for those with reservations at all times.
Gaviota Boat Hoist
Boat Launch and Retrieval Facility Assessment Report (PDF)
Boat Hoist Program Information Handbook (PDF)
Boat Hoist Operator's Training Handbook (pdf)
Acknowledgements & Introduction
Arrival & Registration
Launching Your Vessel
Vessel Retrieval & Departure
Trip Itinerary Form
Boat Hoist Operator Checklist
Boat Hoist User Agreement
General Hoist Requirements
District Superintendent's Order
Important Contact Information