Ellwood Mesa | Sperling Open Space

Art from the Trail at Wildling Museum

connect to the outdoorsellwood mesa butterfly groveWhat To Expect: Ellwood Mesa is popular with hikers, runners, bikers, surfers, and horseback riders who enjoy this natural preserve’s exceptional beauty. The area features miles of relatively flat trails, two beach access points, abundant wildlife, and a significant Monarch butterfly habitat.

Description: Elwood Mesa is part of the Ellwood Devereux Open Space, a 600-acre multi-agency open space that includes opens space and reserves on UCSB’s North Campus and West Campus, lands within the University System’s Coal Oil Point Reserve, The Land Trust’s Coronado Butterfly Preserve and the City of Goleta’s Ellwood Mesa and Sperling Open Space.  An integrated trail system of over 10 miles in length links all of these open space areas and Isla Vista and Goleta communities. As a regional park with coastal access and an enhanced trail system, Ellwood Mesa serves residents throughout Santa Barbara County.

Trailhead: 7727 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117

Directions: Follow Hwy 101 to exit 110 for Winchester Canyon Road. Turn towards the ocean, then turn left onto Hollister Ave. Head east for 0.6-miles to the entrance to the Ellwood Mesa parking lot, and turn right.

  • Difficulty Rating: Easy to Moderate
  • Distance: 2.0 miles or more
  • Grade Change: 5% Average
  • Trail Layout: Loop
  • Surface: Packed earth
  • Width: 4 to 8 feet
  • Shade: Varies along the route
  • Obstacles: Uneven terrain, steep inclines
  • Accessibility: Not rated
  • Restrictions: Dogs on leash
  • Emergency: Call 911

Special thanks to Wildling Museum of Art and Nature for creating Art from the Trails, a juried invitational exhibition, showcasing trail systems in Santa Barbara County. The exhibit is ongoing through October 3, 2021.