Swimming · Views · Wildlife
Starting from the Carpinteria State beach parking lot this trail meanders down the coast along a large stretch of sandy beach. Shortly you'll come across the mouth of Carpinteria Creek as it cuts across the beach and runs toward the ocean. A sand bar between the river and ocean is often present to allow continued passage along the beach, however if it isn't there a short detour onto 4th street slightly inland will let you cross a bridge over the river before returning to the beach.
Continue running further along the beach before turning inland to cross through Tar Pit Park on the dirt trails there. You'll then pass by the oil pier and parking lot, arriving once again on the coast where there is a great view point of the ocean above the Harbor Seal Preserve
that sits along the beach here. December through May this section of the beach is heavily populated with seals making for great wildlife watching.
Staying on the bluff above the beach, you can then cross over the railroad tracks nearby to continue along the trail. This sections of the trail over the Carpinteria Bluffs makes for great views of the coastline and the nearby islands in the Pacific.
Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store
Flora & Fauna
You can expect to see lots of seals on the Harbor Seal Preserve
portion of the beach from December to May.