The views are great in any direction. Lake Cachuma, the Santa Ynez Valley and the Los Padres National Forest are all beautiful. Warnings: There is a rope swing there, which may cause you anxiety. This hike feels rather remote. The hardest part of the hike is on the way back, the last section. A car was broken into when we were up there in broad daylight. Keep anything valuable or even that looks like it could be valuable, hidden. You may need a National Forest Adventure Pass to park here.
Directions: Take the 154N from Foothill Rd. Continue 10 miles, then turn right at East Camino Cielo. Drive 3 windy miles to a wider shoulder on the right (one mile past Painted Cave Road). The entrance is to the left at a gate with a dirt road. The gate may be open during the day with construction going on.
Trail Rating: Easy
Distance: 0.8 miles round trip, downhill or fairly level until the very end each way
Time: 20 minutes walking, more for exploring
Nearby attractions: Lake Cachuma is visible from here
More information: Trail and History
|The entrance to the dirt road hike.|
|Knapp's Castle from a Distance|
|Some walls remain.|
|Chimneys remain too.|
|Entrance gate when closed|
|It can be misty up here!|
Most of the hike is fairly level or downhill (until the way back).