Cachuma Lake

Quick Facts

Cachuma Lake

California

(805) 686-5054

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Set amidst acres of wilderness flanked by the picturesque Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains, lies glimmering Cachuma Lake. Here you will find practically everything you need for a relaxing getaway in the great outdoors. Mild temperatures, typically sunny skies, and celebrated fishing conditions make camping here during winter months exceptionally rewarding.

Cachuma Reservoir, formed by Bradbury Dam, offers a prime recreational opportunity for the south central coast area of California. The Cachuma Project is located in the Santa Ynez Valley, the area provides an aesthetic view of the Santa Ynez mountains. The recreation area is adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest. Located off scenic Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, Cachuma Lake is midway between the beaches and bustle of Santa Barbara and the Danish Community of Solvang. Easily accessible from Santa Barbara, the area provide excellent camping facilities with full hookups for RVs. The lake is stocked during the winter months with trout and provides excellent bass fishing year round. Day use areas include trails and picnic facilities.

Map of Cachuma Lake

Latitude, Longitude: 34.576830, -119.957660

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Activities

  • Boating

    Boats, canoes and kayaks are allowed on the lake. Canoes and kayaks must be rigid hull design. Nature cruises are also available.

    As Cachuma Lake is a dometestic water supply, swimming, war skiing, windsurfing, or any other body contact with the water is prohibited. No inflatable crafts of any kind, including rafts, are allowed on the lake. Regattas of 8 or more boats must notify the park at least one week in advance of the event.

    Boats and kayaks are available for rent at the marina.

    Before heading out on the lake, review the park's boating regulations.

  • Bird Watching

    Hiking trails provide great birdwatching opportunities. The park also offers nature cruises for birds and wildlife viewing on the lake.

    The park's winter brings out resident and migratory Bald Eagles and waterfowl from November through February. In spring and summer, wildflowers spangle the hills and resident birds can be seen displaying and building nests.

  • Bicycling

    Contact the park for more information.

  • Camping

    Tent and RV camping sites at Cachuma Lake and Jalama Beach are first come first serve; no reservations are required. There are also a number of alternative camping opportunities. Camp rentals are available in yurts, cabins, group camps. Reserve a cabin or yurt at Cachuma Lake or Jalama Beach by calling (805) 686-5050 (This number is for cabins, yurts and large group areas ONLY).

  • Fishing

    Cachuma is one of Southern California's finest fishing lakes because of the lake-bottom topography of rocky drop-offs, shallow areas, and aquatic plant beds- all great habitat for different kinds of fish. During normal (non-drought) years, it supports large populations of large mouth and small mouth bass, crappie, bluegill, red-ear sunfish, channel catfish, and rainbow trout.

  • Hiking

    Five trails ranging from a quarter mile loop to four miles one way can be explored within Cachuma Lake Recreation Area. Within 15 minutes drive or less, you can access multiple hiking trailheads in Los Padres National Forest. Pick up a trail guide at Cachuma Lake.

  • Historic Sites

    Cachuma Lake Nature Center is located within Cachuma Recreation Area in a picturesque old ranch house. Developed and operated by a corps of committed volunteers, it offers exhibits on the local valley and mountain environment for all ages, emphasizing hands-on exhibits to appeal to children.

    Exhibits offer educational material on:

    The construction of Bradbury Dam Trees, wildflowers and shrubs of chaparral, oak woodlands, and riparian habitats Fish that live in Cachuma Lake Mammals of the area Weather of the Santa Ynez Valley Birds, with mounted specimens Geology The Chumash people past and present

  • Horseback Riding

    Please contact the parks department for more information on horseback riding.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic areas are available. Each campsite contains a picnic table and fire ring, with showers, restrooms and water nearby. Each group area contains enough picnic tables to seat the whole group, a food preparation table, a large adjustable barbeque grill, a large fire ring, and a water faucet.

  • RVing

    RV rentals are available and RV camping with sanitation on site.

  • Water Sports

    Visitors may swim in a swimming pool, open in summer. As Cachuma Lake is a dometestic water supply, swimming, war skiing, windsurfing, or any other body contact with the water is prohibited. No inflatable crafts of any kind, including rafts, are allowed on the lake.

  • Wildlife Watching

    Hiking trails provide great wildlife watching opportunities. The park also offers nature cruises for wildlife viewing on the lake.

Park Partners

Rocky Mountain Recreation Company

Rocky Mountain Recreation Company runs the marina and a marina store. It also offers boat, canoe and kayak rentals.

(805) 688-4040

Directions

Driving

From Santa Barbara take Highway 101 to the San Marcos Pass exit, Highway 154. The park entrance is about 20 miles from this point. From the North take Highway 101 to State Highway 154. Cachuma Lake is about 20 miles east.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(805) 686-5054

Links