Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park, Santa Barbara
(2.6/5 based on 45+ reviews on the web)
Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is a unit in the state park system of California, preserving a small sandstone cave adorned with rock art attributed to the Chumash people. Adjoining the small community of Painted Cave, the site is located about 2mi north of California State Route 154 and 11mi northwest of Santa Barbara. The 7.5acre park was established in 1976.The smooth and irregularly shaped shallow sandstone cave contains numerous drawings apparently depicting the Chumash cosmology and other subjects created in mineral pigments and other media over a long period ranging from about 200 up to possibly 1000 years or more. There is also evidence of graffiti beginning with early white settlers, which eventually led to creation of a protective physical barrier and State Historic Park status. In 1972 it was added as Site #72000256 on the National Register of Historical Places.Access is from State Route 154 about 5mi north of U.S. Route 101 in the San Marcos Pass in the Santa Ynez Mountains, driving 2mi north on Painted Cave Road. The cave is adjacent to the left side of this narrow one-lane mountain road, with a slightly widened shoulder that provides parking for one or two vehicles. The drive is not appropriate for trailers and RVs, due to some very tight turns and steep sections. The art is very close to the road up a trail that includes a few short stairs with a metal handrail, ending on a landing at metal gate protecting the cave entrance. The gate is made in such a way that viewing and photography is convenient for people of any height.
Put Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park at the forefront of your travel plans using our Santa Barbara vacation route planner.
Source
map
Create a full Santa Barbara itinerary

Plan your trip to Santa Barbara

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Santa Barbara by other users

8 days in Santa Barbara BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM GUATEMALA June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM GUATEMALA June, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in California BY A USER FROM GUATEMALA June, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM FINLAND September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM TURKEY May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in California BY A USER FROM MEXICO December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 20 days in California BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 43 days in United States & Tijuana BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • There is a single very narrow road branching off from 254 in the Ynez valley leading out of Santa Barbara. The road is extremely windy with many hairpin and blind loops. There are walls of rocks in ma...  more »
  • The Chumash Native Americans were well known for their art. Lamentably this has not always been appreciated but the remarkable polychrome art of Painted Cave is somehitng all can appreciate and care f...  more »
  • I would like to say that I enjoyed this park, but the road is so narrow that there is really only room for one car going up or down and not a lot of room to move over if a car is coming down. I would ...  more »