Located roughly 32 miles west of Santa Barbara, the Gaviota Hot Springs is a treat for visitors to the Gaviota State Park. Also called “Las Cruces Hot Springs,” this soaking area can be found about half a mile down the Gaviota Peak Trail and just a tenth of a mile off the path.
These springs are great as a destination or perfect for decompressing after the main hikes, including the 6.5-mile loop on Trespass Trail or the 6-mile out and back route to Gaviota Peak. The water is collected into two cement, and rock-walled pools with muddy bottoms and are easily defined.
Also called Las Cruces Hot Springs
The temperature of Gaviota Hot Springs varies by season but is sometimes referred to as a warm spring versus a hot one. The water is a murky blue color with a sulfur smell, but it’s surrounded by ferns and has a nice natural ambiance.
The pools are big enough to seat six to eight people, and the state park rules are that clothing is required on the land, although you might run into people who don’t follow that. Many people frequent this area, so avoiding crowds is easier in the early hours on weekdays.
Parking and Fees
The parking lot for the hot springs is at the trailhead, which can be found in Gaviota State Park off Highway 101. There is a small fee for day-use unless you already have a state park day pass. The parking lot closes at sunset and is gated, meaning all soaking activities must be done by then.
Lodging and Camping
Regarding lodging at hotels, there are many options in Santa Barabara to the east or in the town of Solvang to the north.
Camping is not allowed at the site of the hot springs as it’s for day-use only; however, there are a few campgrounds nearby that are popular for overnight stays. The closest camping areas are Gaviota State Park, El Capital State Beach, Refugio State Beach, and Arroyo Honda Vista Point.
Address: Gaviota Park Boundary Road, Goleta, California 93117