Trail Run Project Logo

green Harbor Seal Preserve

  4.0 ( 2 ) Favorite

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

Trail

2.8 mile 4.5 kilometer out and back
100% Runnable
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 48' 15 m
Descent: -48' -15 m
High: 56' 17 m
Low: 8' 2 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 1% (0°)
Max Grade: 4% (2°)

Dogs

Unknown
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by John McKinney

A coastline run from Carpinteria State Beach to the Harbor Seal Preserve.

John McKinney

Features Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Overview

The out and back run takes you from sandy beaches to high-standing bluffs with great views of the Harbor Seal Preserve.

Description

This run follows part of the Carpinteria Beach Trail. 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. From this point, you can turn around and return back to the parking area.

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.

History & Background

The Carpinteria Tar Pits that trail passes through once bubbled up near Carpinteria Beach. In the 1910's the tar was mined and used to pave the coast highway in the county. During prehistoric times the tar pits trapped various animals, such as mastodons, and saber toothed tigers.

Carpinteria gets its name from Captain Portola’s Spanish explorers who, in 1769, saw the native Chumash building a canoe and decided to name the town La Carpinteria, Spanish for carpenter shop.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#2871

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#466

in California

#2,871

Overall
18 Views Last Month
181 Since Jul 17, 2017
Easy Easy

100%
0%
0%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running