When June Gloom Hangs On

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When June Gloom Hangs On
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By Tom Modugno, Goleta Surfing

So this is how the surf report looks for Goleta in the summer. Not always, but a lot. Luckily for us, we live in Paradise and have lots of other options... besides Xbox.

There is lots of nature to enjoy on all the beautiful front country trails.

And even more wonders just over the mountains.


But this day we wanted to be near the beach, so we decided to ride the fun little bike bath from El Cap to Refugio.

Starting from El Capitan State Park, it's fun to ride through the campground and check out all the campers.

It's no wonder El Cap gets booked up so fast, it's a remarkable place.

The bike path starts at the "north" end of the campground. There will be a gate and a sign saying it's closed, but there's also a well worn trail that goes right around it. It's been like this for years. How's that for mixed messages...


What they're trying to tell us is... the trail is dangerous at times and they'd rather we didn't use it.


A small portion of the trail is built into the crumbling cliff above the beach. But if you're careful, it's no problem. So be careful.

It makes you wonder, if we can't afford to afford this tiny bit of coastal trail that we already have, how are we going to maintain the 1200 mile California Coastal Trail they are working so hard to access for? But anyways...

Once you get past the sketchy parts, it's clear sailing. And beautiful views abound.

Pedaling up the Central Coast makes you appreciate the beauty even more.


The ride is not long, but if you slow down and savor the views, it can take up some time.

Soon you'll smell the campfires and know you're nearing your destination.

Good ol' Refugio. Another campground that's booked more often than not.

We settled in for a beer to take in the ambiance.

And to make sure biking was the right choice today... it was.


Back on the bikes and head on down the coast, nice and slow.

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Flicka Jul 06, 2019 10:27 AM
When June Gloom Hangs On

Beautiful trip, thanks for sharing with us. We live behind the Carpinteria State Park and like riding our bikes through the campgrounds, often full to capacity. Great to see kids having so much fun, riding bikes or playing on the beach.

Luvaduck Jul 07, 2019 07:22 AM
When June Gloom Hangs On

Not only fun, great for making them aware of nature and, one would hope, caretakers of our beautiful natural treasures. Also great stress relievers and calm-down "medicine" for usually over-subscribed adults who spend most of their awake time indoors due to jobs that require that.

EastBeach Jul 06, 2019 12:16 PM
When June Gloom Hangs On

Awesome. Haven't done that ride in many years now. We used to ride west past the ranger's residence @Refugio on the dirt (EZ to do on a mountain bike). There are palms and other trees up on that little mesa with concrete footings left from some long-ago structures facing the ocean. Anyone know what they were for?

tagdes Jul 06, 2019 01:01 PM
When June Gloom Hangs On

I also used to ride up there and was told it had been a nursery. That seemed plausible from the remnants that were there at the time, 25-30 years ago, but I'm not entirely sure.

LCP112233 Jul 08, 2019 02:40 PM
When June Gloom Hangs On

East Beach...The area was a nursery decades ago. Back in the 70's there was remnants of the greenhouse, which had green corrugated walls. When hiking or biking back then the path went through the old structure. You can still see remnants of the road and many exotic plants to this day.

photodude Jul 07, 2019 08:11 AM
When June Gloom Hangs On

Nice pictures. I have ridden that bikeway many times.
You can go all the way across Refugio in the beach parking lot and find a single track bike trail that leads up to the little mesa Flicka mentioned. As you progress along this trail, you do come across some cement abutments. Further along, you will encounter a long abandoned nursery. Finally, the trail comes back to the railroad tracks. There is a railroad maintenance road alongside the train tracks that will take you all the way to Gaviota State Park. Another ride involves trucking bicycles to the Vista de las Cruces School just after the Highway 1 turnoff from Highway 101. There is a nice trail (combination of dirt road and single track) that will take you to an overlook of the Gaviota tunnel and Highway 101 probably 500 feet below you. Probably about a 5-mile ride (one way).

EastBeach Jul 07, 2019 10:59 AM
When June Gloom Hangs On

@Photodude - I'd love to ride along the ocean side of the 101 from Refugio to Gaviota, but I don't recall seeing that RR maintenance road and can't spot it using Google Earth or satellite view. Funny, the other ride you mentioned is exactly what I rode yesterday ... park at the Las Cruces entrance to Gaviota SP, ride up to Hollister Ridge, then over to the Overlook trail. The view of Gaviota Pass is awesome up there. We usually hike the Overlook after visiting the wind caves but mountain biking it is fun too. Returned via the Ortega Trail singletrack which is overgrown in spots. I've also ridden under the freeway to the east side of the park. Map here ............... https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/606/files/gaviota_map.pdf

tagdes Jul 07, 2019 03:26 PM
When June Gloom Hangs On

@Eastbeach-Photodude is a little confused...there is no railroad maintenance road alongside the tracks from Refugio to Gaviota State Park and not even accessible by UP ROW as you couldn't get by Arroyo Quemada or through the cut at Arroyo Honda. This can easily be seen on street Google street view especially at Arroyo Honda.

EastBeach Jul 07, 2019 10:41 AM
When June Gloom Hangs On

Tom's photos inspired me to ride the bike path yesterday. It was a nice cool-down after mountain biking the Las Cruces side of Gaviota State park. The path is named the "Aniso Trail" but I think they should rename it the "Brush Bunny Trail" (or the Chumash equivalent) - there are tons of hopping cottontails out there! A nice park ranger confirmed there used to be a nursery up on the little mesa. She told me a ranger named Kevin knew more about its history but I couldn't find him. I'd assume the nursery was there before descendants of the Rutherford family sold the property to the state in 1950. Maybe Tom will do a writeup about this sometime?

EastBeach Jul 07, 2019 02:07 PM
When June Gloom Hangs On

Just noticed Tom mentions the Rutherford family's relationship to Refugio State Park here ..... http://goletahistory.com/stephen-rutheford/ .... "In the early 1900’s Stephen Rutherford bought 500 acres on the coast, including the Refugio Cove. Later, one of his sons would turn it into a popular campground and plant the iconic palm trees that we all enjoy today." The brochure a park ranger gave me says .... "Scottish emigrees Nelson and J. Monroe Rutherford bought 500 beachside acres in the early 20th century, opening a private resort called Refugio Cove and Beach". Wonder if they had ropes and stanchions on the beach like the Miramar Hotel?

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