El Capitán State Beach

Quick Facts

El Capitán State Beach


(805) 968-1033

Map Directions

Things To Do


Lush sycamores and oaks flourish along El Capitán Creek at the entry to El Capitán State Beach. Tall bluff-top groves are visible for miles along the terraced coastline. This extremely popular beach, 17 miles west of Santa Barbara off U.S. Highway 101, is a perfect place to enjoy camping, hiking, surfing, picnicking and beach walking. At El Capitán, the moderate climate brings cool fog during the summer months. Late summer and fall are sunny and warm; winter storms often break up into crystal-clear days.

Map of El Capitán State Beach (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 34.459727, -120.022001



  • Bicycling

    Register at the park entrance to camp in the "Hike and Bike" area. Hot showers, restrooms, tables and barbecues are available. For more information, feel free to call El Capitan SB offices in advance.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Scenic highway 101 passes through the park, with magnificent views of the coastline.

  • Camping

    The 132-site family campground is open all year. A short walk takes you to the beach. Each site has a picnic table and stove or fire ring; restrooms with hot showers are nearby. Several sites are paved for RVs only. Some sites accommodate trailers and recreational vehicles up to 42 feet in length.

    Five group camping areas, accommodating 40-100 people, overlook the ocean from the marine terrace. For more camping updates, feel free to call El Capitan SB offices.

  • Fishing

    Visitors can fish off the beach. Check with the park for regulations.

  • Hiking

    A self-guided nature trail winds through the woodlands on El Capitán Point. The Bill Wallace Trail, named for a coastal protection advocate and former Santa Barbara County supervisor, winds through the park, offering hikers more than ten miles of views with a 1,000-foot elevation gain.

    Register at the park entrance to camp in the "Hike and Bike" area. Hot showers, restrooms, tables and barbecues are available.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    For information on OHV use, please call El Capitan SB offices.

  • Picnicking

    The beach can make a lovely place for a picnic.

  • Water Sports

    Surfing conditions change with the weather. However, at low tides during fall and winter, advanced surfers sometimes find a perfect west or west-southwest swell.


El Capitan State Beach lies right along the southern California coast, tucked into a Mediterranean coastal zone with warm, dry, and breezy summer conditions (60's-80's F) and cooler, damper winter conditions (40's-60's F). Layering is highly encouraged.

Park Partners

Friends of Channel Coast State Parks

The Friends of Channel Coast State Parks has been funding and supporting interpretive and educational programs at six State beaches and one State Park along the Channel Coast in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for more than a quarter of a century. Founded in 1984, the Friends make possible interpretive services that include kayak tours, Junior Rangers, Junior Lifeguards, campfire programs, school programs, brochures exhibits, and much more!

(805) 968-1033



The beach is located off Highway 101 seventeen miles west of Santa Barbara.


The closest major airport to El Capitan State Beach is Los Angeles International Airport, approximately 81 miles away; from there, car rental services from Advantage to Thrifty are available.

Public Transportation

Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District offers some of the most reliable public transportation along the Southern California coast, including near El Capitan. For more information on scheduling and fares, call 8059633366.

Phone Numbers


(805) 968-1033