Camping, Hiking and Climbing at El Capitan State Beach 6/1/18-6/4/18

Posted by Adventure 16 | 06.18.2018
by Ryan Pinza
Sales Associate, A16 West Los Angeles

view of the beach

El Capitan State Beach Sunset


Last week, a former A16er and I set out on a camping trip El Capitan State Beach just up the coast from Santa Barbara.  We arrived at our campsite around four in the afternoon on Friday, which at the time had only a couple of tents set up.  By that time the next day all but a few of the roughly 120 campsites would be full.  Although our campsite was not close to the bluffs that overlooked the ocean, we were still about five minutes walking from the beach. Throughout the weekend, we saw our share of skunks and raccoons that made home in the light brush that separated some of the sites.  

After laying low on Friday, we packed a lot of adventure into Saturday.  In the morning we drove about seven miles up the road from the campground to Gaviota State park where we hiked up to the wind caves that overlooked the coastline and campground.  The caves were a much needed rest from the sun, as there was almost no shade on the hillside that we had travelled up.  Although the hike was short, there was that sense of fulfillment that comes from reaching your destination when you’re in the outdoors, and the view certainly added to that.  

at the top of lizards mouth rock

Lizard's Mouth


After a break following the hike we headed for a rock known as Lizards Mouth, which is on a ridgetop that looks over Santa Barbara. We reached the rock about 30 minutes before sunset after a 30 minute hike in from road.  (The hike should have been 10 minutes but we got lost for a little bit).  As the sun set, we tried traversing the rock, our best attempts reaching the halfway point. We both left knowing that this would not be the last time we would try to conquer the Lizards Mouth.  After a few drinks at a Santa Barbara Brewery, we headed back to camp and called it a night.  This concluded what was a brief but needed outdoor adventure.

Ryan in the tent

About to sleep