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Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara

1.8
#12 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
179 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 7, 2017
    I recently stayed at site 12-14 with my family. The overall stay was nice and had plenty of roads and trails to ride bikes. As for fishing, the lake is not friendly for shore fishing with limited acce...  more »
  • July 30, 2017
    Lake Chumash has camping opportunities galore! I went there on my recent trip to Solvang just to check out the lake area. The camping area has campsites for tents, RVs, and there are also yurts that c...  more »
  • July 9, 2017
    I love going the 154 Hwy to get to Ojai so I can drive by Lake Cachuma. Even with all of the rain last year, the lake is still low. Presently there is a fire near there...7/9/2017...so very sad.  more »

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