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.

Painted Cave Rd, Santa Barbara, CA
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.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Chumash Painted Cave

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

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]

Nearby Offbeat Places

The Immortal Hand of Jerry GarciaThe Immortal Hand of Jerry Garcia, Santa Barbara, CA - 7 mi.
Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Largest in U.S.Moreton Bay Fig Tree - Largest in U.S., Santa Barbara, CA - 8 mi.
1929 Gas Station1929 Gas Station, Goleta, CA - 8 mi.
In the region:
Photo Spot of Famous Depression Mom, Nipomo, CA - 55 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree, Leggett, California (Jan 24-30, 2022)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings