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El Capitán State Beach



  • Directions

  • Size

    2657.58 acres


El Capitán State Beach offers visitors a sandy beach, rocky tidepools, and stands of sycamore and oaks along El Capitán Creek. It’s a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking and camping. A stairway provides access from the bluffs to the beach area.

Allowed Activities
Road Biking
Scuba Diving
Dog Walking
Body Surfing
Tent Camping
Stand-up Paddling
Good For
Rules & Regulation
Dogs Permitted With Restrictions
Dogs On Leash

Additional Information

Accessibility Description

El Capitan State Beach


A popular family park about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara, “El Cap” provides camping, picnicking, a bike trail and all the usual beach activities. Phone (805) 968-1033 for more information.


There are 10 accessible campsites that are primarily designed for tent camping. The combination restroom/shower building adjacent to the De Anza Group Camp is accessible.

Group Camps: Drake and Ortega are accessible including parking and restroom buildings.

Picnic Area

Accessible picnic sites are provided adjacent to the beach area.


The Nature Trail is a 0.6 mile trail that starts near the park entrance station and takes visitors on a hike through a riparian corridor with large sycamore and oak trees, and offers coastal views as well as an accessible day use picnic area. Accessible parking is provided near the park entrance station. Accessible restrooms are provided at the main day use parking lot.

Bluff-Top Bike Trail: Visitors to El Capitan State Beach can enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands from a bluff-top bike trail/walkway. Part of the trail has been closed because of coastal erosion so it is no longer possible to travel between El Capitan and Refugio State Beaches, but parts of the trail remain open. The trail has fairly level sections, and parts of it may be usable, and challenging, for strong wheelchair users.

An accessible restroom is located in the day use parking lot.

Beach/Shore Access

Beach wheelchairs are available for use by the public with no cost. With this specially designed chair, wheelchair users may access the beach at several locations. Contact a ranger or lifeguard for additional information.


The Campfire Center has been improved to provide accessible parking, routes, seating, and stage access.

Your Inspiring Venue

Are you looking for a memorable wedding or event location with gorgeous ocean views? 

Contact our event coordinator at

Additional Visitor Services

  • Parks and Recreation Management, Inc. dba Channel Coast Camp Stores (Beach stores at Gaviota, El Capitan, Refugio SB)
  • D2 Global Enterprises, Inc. dba 101 RV Rentals (Camp trailer rentals)

RV Rental Policy

Trailers may be rented from 101 RV Rental Concession. This is the only permitted business for delivery of RVs in this state park. For any questions contact 101 RV Rental 805-210-7391

El Capitan State Beach Closure August of 2022

El Capitan SB will be closed for camping for approximately nine months beginning August 1, 2022. The park entrance will be undergoing construction of the new entrance road, bridge, kiosk, and trail. For more information please see the El Capitan Entrance Project link on this page. Questions may be directed to ChannelCoastInfo@Parks.Ca.Gov.