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Lizard's Mouth

Santa Barbara, CA
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Lizard's Mouth, Santa Barbara California

Description

Lizard's Mouth is an area of sandstone outcroppings way above Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Mountains. To get here, you hike one quarter mile over some slightly slanted rock, until you reach an area of caves and boulders. Find your own little spot where you can picnic and behold the sweeping views below.
There are so many things to see here! Behold the pretty sight of boulder upon boulder settled on the sloping mountainside. This sight reminds me of Ireland for some reason! There are boulders of all shapes and sizes. Hike up and sit atop the Lizard's Mouth, a jutting rock- it looks like a lizard's mouth once you climb down underneath it. From the top of the lizard's mouth, you can see all around you on every side, along the coast as far as Oxnard and beyond, and down into the inland valleys below.
Kids will have a blast endlessly exploring this area, especially when they find caves or large "windows" in the rock. Be careful because there is broken glass on the ground.
Watch out- the rocks here amplify your voice and people can hear you loud as ever from way across the other side. I once heard all the nitty gritty details of some guy's personal life- I was sitting hundreds of feet away but it sounded like he was talking right in my ear! Plus, it's kind of annoying listening to loud-mouths when you've come here to hear the wonderful silence.
A great way to spend time here is to watch the sun set over Goleta. My husband proposed to me here and it was so romantic! Bring a sweater- it gets cold once the sun goes down.
Other places to explore on Highway 154 are: Lake Cachuma, a serene lake with grassy picnic areas and a nice playground; Playgrounds, a hiking and rock-climbing spot up in the mountains with huge boulders and panoramic views of Santa Barbara; and Santa Ynez River, a quiet, peaceful river where you can skid rocks and go for an icy swim.
There are some cute towns if you continue north on Highway 154, towns that were featured in the movie "Sideways." Check out the touristy Danish town of Solvang, or the wine-room town of Los Olivos.

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Photo Gallery

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There are lots of low caves to be found at Lizard's Mouth! You can spread a blanket out in their shade and have a picnic!
There are lots of low caves to be found at Lizard's Mouth! You can spread a blanket out in their shade and have a picnic!
View from one of the caves.
View from one of the caves.
Standing atop the mouth of the lizard...
Standing atop the mouth of the lizard...
If you hike a few minutes until you're up high, you can see far south along the coast, all the way to Oxnard and beyond.
If you hike a few minutes until you're up high, you can see far south along the coast, all the way to Oxnard and beyond.
Round window in the rock.
Round window in the rock.
Looking back on the beginning of the trail- memorize this so you can find it!
Looking back on the beginning of the trail- memorize this so you can find it!
Boulders everywhere at Lizard's Mouth.
Boulders everywhere at Lizard's Mouth.
Boulders in all shapes and sizes.
Boulders in all shapes and sizes.
The view on a clear, beautiful day.
The view on a clear, beautiful day.
Wandering around the rocks.
Wandering around the rocks.
Interesting large holes in the boulders.
Interesting large holes in the boulders.
Strange boulder!
Strange boulder!
Path through a boulder paradise.
Path through a boulder paradise.
Picnic blanket in the shade of boulders.
Picnic blanket in the shade of boulders.
A round boulder and shadow.
A round boulder and shadow.
Funny shapes in the rock.
Funny shapes in the rock.
A couple sits on the rock and takes in the view of the ocean.
A couple sits on the rock and takes in the view of the ocean.
Mossy spot.
Mossy spot.
Fun places for kids to play with small toys and make a cliff dwelling village!
Fun places for kids to play with small toys and make a cliff dwelling village!
Wild place to stand!
Wild place to stand!
The amazing shape of the rocks, like a multi-layered sandwich!
The amazing shape of the rocks, like a multi-layered sandwich!
Golden rocks and sky.
Golden rocks and sky.
View of the ocean and two boulders.
View of the ocean and two boulders.
See the layers of clouds at the islands in the distance.
See the layers of clouds at the islands in the distance.

Directions

From Highway 101, take the State St/Highway 154 exit. Follow the signs to Highway 154 and head up the mountain. After the fourth turnout, turn left on Kinevan Rd (the large sign on Highway 154 says "West Camino Cielo Rd." Take the left fork, which is West Camino Cielo Rd. Continue past the mailboxes on the left. Pass the unusual boulder on the right and the Windemere sign. Pass a water tank on the right. The trailhead will be on your left. It's not marked. The best way to find it is to go too far and pass it! Go as far as the Winchester Canyon Gun Club and then turn around and park along the road. The trail is now on your right. At the trailhead, there's sandstone rock on your right and brush on your left. You may see other cars there to give you a clue to where the trail starts. A few steps into the hike there is a piece of paper on a wooden signpost, indicating that you are at the Lizard's Mouth trail.
Watch out for poison oak- it grows along the dry creek that will be on your left as you walk along.
In case you want to try to use your GPS, here is the address for the gun club, which is past the trailhead but a handy reference: 6621 West Camino Cielo, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


madeline
08/22/2015 05:59
I love this photo !

ted
08/27/2010 16:48
amazing place to take the family for an outing

anna
02/10/2010 15:07
you've gotta go climbing here ;)

Gennie
12/22/2009 12:59
SOOOO wish I could be there!!!! Sounds incredible!!!

Maggie
09/19/2009 19:11
A local ranger told us about this place when we visited White Rock for the weekend. What a phenomenal sight- the sunset was magical. It was a wonderful way to finish our visit to Santa Barbara. And not touristy! Listen to the silence up there. Watch out for snakes and broken glass from the local college kids :( Overall though, it's breathtaking. Thanks for this website- I want to visit all the places you've written about!

Last Updated Sun, 13 Nov 2016 18:12:45 GMT