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Organization Title

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park

Contact Information

(805) 733-3713

Park Hours

dawn ‘til dusk

Driving Directions to Chumash Painted Cave SHP

The site is three miles south of the San Marcos Pass: Take Highway 154 out of Santa Barbara and turn right on Painted Caves Road. The cave is located on the left, about two miles up a steep, narrow road. The pullout at the site will only accommodate one or two vehicles. Trailers and RVs should not attempt the road.

Reservation Notice

Beginning Aug. 1, 2017, California State Parks is moving to a new reservation system to make it easier for you to reserve camping and lodging sites! For more information, such as FAQs, please visit ReserveCalifornia™ Note: Beginning at midnight July 26 to 8 a.m. Aug. 1, 2017, the website and telephone reservations will be temporarily offline to prepare for the new launch of the system. During this time, all existing reservations will be honored. We thank you for your patience!

Online reservations are not available for this park.

No online brochures available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

California State Parks has teamed with CyArk and Santa Ynez Valley High School to produce a detailed 3D laser scan of Chumash Painted Cave and its surroundings. This scan will not only preserve a record of the significant pictographs for use in future condition assessments, but it also provides park visitors with a closer view of the art not currently possible due to the protective grate across the cave opening. State Parks has also worked with Barbareño Chumash elder, Ernestine de Soto and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to provide accurate interpretive information about the rock art, and its importance to modern Chumash descendants.

You can view the 3D scan at Cyark website.

The walls of this small cave carved from towering sandstone boulders contain some of the finest remaining rock art created by Chumash Native Americans.  A steep path leads to the cave entrance, which is protected by heavy iron grillwork. Anthropologists estimate that the paintings date to the 1600's and earlier.  The meaning of these enigmatic images has been lost.

Location - Directions

The site is three miles south of San Marcos Pass.  Take Highway 154 from Santa Barbara and turn right on Painted Cave Road.  The cave is located on the left about two miles up a steep, narrow road.  Parking is limited to two or three cars.  RVs and trailers should not attempt the road.

Further information about Chumash Painted Cave SHP can be obtained by contacting La Purisima Mission State Historic Park (phone number listed at right).

Seasons/Climate - Recommended Clothing

The narrow canyon where the cave is located can be cool, even in summer.  Layered clothing is best.

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Available Activities and Facilities at Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park

Hiking Trails
Historical/Cultural Site
Interpretive Exhibits