Santa Barbara, California: Chumash Painted Cave

Cryptic rock art by the Chumash can be glimpsed in a small cave through a heavy iron gate. Tiny road, easy enough for cars; do not attempt visit in an RV, or even in a truck.

Address:
Painted Cave Rd, Santa Barbara, CA
Directions:
Hwy 154, either 5.5 miles northwest of US Hwy 101 in Santa Barbara, or 3.5 miles southeast of the bridge across the San Marcos Pass. Turn north onto Painted Cave Rd and drive uphill two miles. You'll see the sign for Painted Cave on the left. Note: This is a narrow, switchback road. The shoulder pull-off for the cave is tiny. Do not attempt this in an RV, or even in a truck.
Phone:
805-733-3713
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State park entrance sign.

Chumash Painted Cave

Easy to get to and see these cave drawings from 400 years ago, and in such pristine conditions.

[Bob, 08/22/2020]
Chumash Painted Cave

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 1600s and earlier. The meaning of these enigmatic images has been lost.

[Muriel, 03/17/2014]

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