Live Oak Trails

Download the Trails Map

Get another perspective on Cachuma Lakes remote north shore! Starting from the trailhead at Live Oak Camp, a visit across the Santa Ynez River yields miles of dusty trails that meander through the rolling hills and canyons along Cachuma Lakes north banks. The trails provide stunning views of the lake and the Santa Ynez and San Raphael mountains.

For nearly half a century this historic trail system has been a popular place for people to ride on horseback. You are now welcome to visit the Live Oak trails on foot, as well as on horseback.

No biking is allowed. You are welcome to bike (or visit by foot or horseback) all other trails in the Cachuma Recreation Area. For these trails visit the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area Trails page.

Trailhead and Access

Hours: 8:00am to one hour before sunset.

The only parking for the Live Oak trails is below Live Oak camp within the Cachuma Recreation Area. Parking requires visitors to display a Cachuma day use pass or a County Parks annual pass on each car's windshield. If you do not have a pass, you must buy a pass on site from an iron pay station near the trailhead. $10 cash only and no credit cards are accepted. Payment for Live Oak includes access to Cachuma Lake for the day.

There is no access to Los Padres National Forest from the Live Oak trails and no overnight stays are allowed. See this link for details on renting the historic Live Oak Camp.

What you need to know:

These trails are remote with no emergency services. Call 911 in an emergency.

There are no trash service or garbage cans. Pack it in/Pack it out.

No dogs (on or off leash) due to ranching operations.

No bikes, e-bikes or motorized vehicles.

No camping allowed (except by reservation at Live Oak Camp).

No smoking or fires

No swimming in Cachuma Lake or the Santa Ynez River. This is our drinking water, please respect this. Swimming areas are located on Paradise Road nearby and seasonally at the Cachuma swimming pools.

There is no potable water at the trailhead or on trails.

The trails may be closed during periods of rain or high water in the river.

Ranching

Live Oak trails are through an active cattle and horse ranch where you will come in contact with grazing cattle and horses. Please close all gates behind you, do not feed the cattle or horses and travel quietly.Live Oak trails are through an active cattle and horse ranch where you will come in contact with grazing cattle and horses. Please close all gates behind you, do not feed the cattle or horses and travel quietly.

Historic Equestrian Use at Live Oak

The best practice is to be friendly and take your time when you encounter a rider. Stop and move to the downhill side of the trail and ask the rider what they want to do. Talking lets horses know that you are a person (not a threat) and it calms them down!

Click here for the Santa Ynez Riders website and some additional etiquette around horses on trail!

Trailhead Location/Directions

Contact Us

Let us know what you like, what we can work on or just tell us about your experience at Live Oak. Please give us your feedback at trails@sbparks.org