This run features over 2000 feet of elevation gain across a state park and a national forest. It has great views and small wind caves.
It costs $2 per vehicle to park at the trailhead. There is not much shade either, so be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
From the trailhead, you start out on Gaviota Peak Fire Road
for just a 1/4 mile before taking a right turn on to Trespass Trail
. From here there are some doubletrack sections intermittently dispersed for the first 1.5 miles, but it's mostly singletrack for this relatively flat section. Here, there are some great views of the valley and the tunnel on Hwy 101 below.
Around mile 2.0 the grade starts to increase as the trail narrows. This is also where the ocean starts to come into view. Around mile 2.5 there are some washed out sections that require some careful navigation near the cool wind caves.
Eventually, you'll reach the top of Gaviota Mountain. At 2,458 feet, this peak has a great view of the Pacific Ocean. From there, head down a rocky section before reaching the Gaviota Peak Fire Road
where you'll take a left and continue your descent the mountain.
Almost the entirety of the Gaviota Peak Fire Road
is doubletrack, and very straightforward. There are plenty of spots along the way with great views of mountains. Eventually, the trail intersects with the Gaviota Hot Springs
trail at 6.2 miles. This is not a part of this run, but it proves a good side bar if you want to make the quick jaunt to soak your feet.
From here, continue on the doubletrack to the trailhead parking lot.