El Capitan Canyon

Natural, basic, wooded

El Capitan Canyon Santa Barbara


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At a Glance

These popular cabins come with attractively made beds, running water and electric lights, but you still get the thrill of being out in nature.

Indagare Loves

  • Three hundred scenic seaside acres just twenty miles north of Santa Barbara.
  • The excitement of camping, with the comforts of a hotel – including spa treatments.
  • Saturday night blues, jazz and bluegrass concerts.
  • Free beach cruisers offered on a first-come basis, hiking with llamas and many other activities.


For nature lovers who also love their creature comforts, a special campsite twenty miles north of downtown Santa Barbara offers safari tents and cedar cabins for a camp-out experience that comes with fully made beds. Located on 300-plus acres on a stunning oceanfront property, El Capitan Canyon has 108 cedar cabins with mini kitchens and 26 safari tents. Built on permanent wood decks and furnished with willow beds, electric lights and Western-style throw rugs, the tents are apt to thrill the kids, while parents are more likely to appreciate the cabins’ extra facilities. All of the cabins come with attached bathrooms; otherwise, facilities are a short walk. And there’s no room service, but all accommodations have grills, and meals can also be purchased on-site at the Canyon Market & Deli. Hiking trails traverse the 2,500-acre canyon, and docent-led hikes are offered. From May through October, the resort has Saturday-night barbecues, along with blues, jazz and bluegrass concerts. Be sure to reserve way in advance; up to a year is suggested.

Indagare Tip: Ask for a cabin with a creek or a canyon view. The new Canyon Loft Cabins are ideal for small families, as they come with a living room and a bedroom downstairs as well as a sleeping loft.

Who Should Stay

Families and couples who want to enjoy the great outdoors, but who would prefer cozy amenities over really roughing it.

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley

What's Nearby
Indagare employees walking up stiars

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