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Tar Pits Park, Carpinteria

3.9
#5 of 8 in Parks in Carpinteria
Beach · Nature / Park
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The Carpinteria Tar Pits are a series of natural asphalt lakes situated in the southern part of Santa Barbara County in southern California.The Carpinteria Tar Pits are one of the five natural asphalt lake areas in the world, the others being Tierra de Brea in Trinidad and Tobago, Lake Guanoco in Venezuela and the La Brea Tar Pits and McKittrick Tar Pits both also located in the US state of California.GeographyThe Carpinteria Tar Pits are located in the southeastern extremity of Santa Barbara County about 20km southeast of Santa Barbara in the town of Carpinteria.The area is a designated park, the Tar Pits Park, and lies within the Carpinteria State Beach area in the southern part between the Santa Rosa and the San Miguel campsites. Most of the tar pits are located along a short stretch directly on the beach and generate from the underlying Carpinteria Offshore Oil Field.GeologyThe Carpinteria Tar Pits probably date from the Pleistocene epoch.The creation of an asphalt lake is typically the result of upwards migrations of hydrocarbons along a geologic fault. Additionally, in connection with subduction pressure can be created against underlying oil source rock.
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Tar Pits Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
42 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Loved Hikes Carpinteria campgrounds, tar pits to Rincon. We stayed next to Carpinteria Salt Marsh at a lovely bnb Tropicshoresapartments.com They take dogs. Loved Carpinteria small town charm, shops.....  more
    Loved Hikes Carpinteria campgrounds, tar pits to Rincon. We stayed next to Carpinteria Salt Marsh at a lovely bnb Tropicshoresapartments.com They take dogs. Loved Carpinteria small town charm, shops.....  more »
  • Nice beach and not very crowded. The water was too cold too swim but would come back during a warmer time of year. Beware your feet will be covered in tar but a nice beach to take a stroll. 
    Nice beach and not very crowded. The water was too cold too swim but would come back during a warmer time of year. Beware your feet will be covered in tar but a nice beach to take a stroll.  more »
  • We were surprised there were tar pits here and they are easy to find. Be prepared with good walking shoes and careful with dogs. 
    We were surprised there were tar pits here and they are easy to find. Be prepared with good walking shoes and careful with dogs.  more »
Google
  • This is one of my favorite stops along the California coast. The seal viewing and tar pit trail are so unique and always memorable. My favorite time to visit is sunset or sunrise. Don't be surprised to see other wildlife along the way. And if you need a cup of caffeine, stop in to the Lucky Lama before you head to the cliffs!
  • Beautiful. It's such an amazing place to visit and see the history of our earth. The views of the ocean are spectacular too.
  • Clean Beach with some rocks to check out during low tide. Safe waves for kids & a Lifeguard tower - station nearby (50 yards North).
  • Me and the wife thought this place was awesome. $10 to park in the parking lot or free if you walk in. Tar Sands are in the South East part of the beach past the RV's.
  • State Park wants $10 to park your car, when you can park along Liden street for FREE, only 100 yards from the $10 state park parking. Amount of tar oozing was extremely miniscule when I was there, but interesting nonetheless.

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