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Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara

3.0
#8 of 17 in Parks in Santa Barbara
Cachuma Lake is an artificial lake located in the Santa Ynez Valley of central Santa Barbara County, California on the Santa Ynez River adjoining the north side of California State Route 154. The reservoir was created by the construction of Bradbury Dam, a 201ft earth-fill structure built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1953. Its surface area covers 3100acre, with a maximum design capacity of 205000acre.ft, but it is currently limited to 188,000acre-feet due to sediment accumulation and as of March 20th, 2017 it is at 49.3% capacity.HistoryBuilt by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1953, the name "Cachuma" comes from a Chumash village that the Spanish spelled "Aquitsumu", from the Barbareno Chumash word aqitsu'm, meaning "sign". Body contact activities such as swimming, wading, or water skiing in Lake Cachuma have been restricted since the park opened in the 1950s, reasoning that the lake was a reservoir people depend upon for drinking water. In May 2011, the no body contact regulation was revised to allow human-powered recreational watercraft such as kayaks and canoes on the lake as well as allow dogs on boats and eliminate "incidental body contact" with the water as a punishable offense.A large campsite on the south shore of Cachuma Lake is administered by the Santa Barbara County Parks division of the Community Services Department.
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Lake Cachuma Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.0
186 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • Lake cachuma used to be a family destination point every spring. Well, there hasn't been any significant rain to fill the lake in the last decade, so camping areas are limited, and the water level is ...  more »
  • It was closed due to the wild fires that ravaged the region. An amazing body of water that appeared as an oasis in a rugged and barren landscape. Once the roads are re-opened it appears easy to get to...  more »
  • Over Thanksgiving, we camped RV-style at site #313 overlooking Cachuma Lake. We learned the down-side of having the prettiest spot at a crowded time: everyone wanders through to see the lake! But desp...  more »
Google
  • Had a great time with the family great service at the boat rentals and a cute little shop. Boats do need matince more had to switch boats but employee's were a great help
  • Great family friendly park! Many things for everyone to do. There is fishing, a pool, boats and bikes for rent, movie night in an amphitheater (Fridays) and someone takes in telescopes for people to look at stars on Saturday nights. Big restrooms are well maintained, there are coin operated showers, and a washers/dryers. Definitely warmer than Santa Barbara, but we weren't planning to be there a lot during the day. Lots of things to do and go see in the area: a waterfall, Solvang, Santa Ynez (Chumash Casino), Santa Barbara blueberries (pick your own or just buy them), a drive in movie (only one screen left), Santa Barbara Zoo, a new science museum for kids, farmer's markets, and so much more! There was a big fire very close to the campground 2 weeks after we left. We're hoping the campground remained intact. (Side note: with varying drought levels the lake is often low and not much of a lake. It was at about 50% this year, but only 12% last year.)
  • Lovely place for boating and camping but this place needs upgrade and better maintainence!
  • This is such a beautiful and serene place. You can rent a canoe and paddle in the lake or have a family picnic in the camping area. There is ample parking, restrooms, and a small shop for little goodies.
  • I had a great time here with my beautiful and exquisite, Angel Eyes! Her family and our dogs. Slightly overcast in the morning but warmed up to a wonderful 70 degrees. We had the sycamore yurt for three days. It's a medium sizes yurt that holds 6. It has a picnic table inside and a balcony in the back.

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