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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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TripAdvisor
  • Just spent a short time but would like to return.Know it has cabins and a camp ground .All on the banks of this beautiful lake.  more »
  • Lake Cachuma is a gorgeous lake nestled in the mountains near Santa Barbara. The highway drive up to it is scenic, and there are two vistas where you may stop and take photos or walk around.  more »
  • Tried to camp here a few days ago. Arrived late afternoon. Place was practically deserted. Now I know why. Flys everywhere!!! You literally couldn't stand still for more than a few seconds without clo...  more »

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Blessed with a mild climate and lush location, Santa Barbara remains a playground for the rich and famous, so it's no surprise that accommodations can be extremely expensive here. The priciest hotels are near the water, so before you make your reservations, decide if staying beachside fits into your budget. You can find more affordable rooms at any one of the area's small motels, located just blocks from the beaches. These offer secure parking, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi.
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