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About Hollister Ranch Beaches in Goleta, California

Hollister Ranch is a large active farming and cattle ranch and private housing community located west of Gaviota State Park. The Hollister Ranch road and long string of south-facing beaches were visited by locals for years, but not any more.

All California beaches are public below the mean high tide level, however, in this case the rocky headlands make it difficult to get very far along the shore by walking on the beach from Gaviota even at the lowest tides. Since the road is gated, every beach in the ranch is hard to reach without a boat. This area was a local surfing mecca back in the 1960’s (read some history here), but today it is hardly known and Hollister is considered one of California’s lost surf breaks.

Update: In 2019 a new law called AB 1680 was passed to allow public access to Hollister Ranch by April of 2022. Unfortunately the CCC extended this date by 18 months as it was not ready by April 2022. This law was passed to enforce a Public Access Program what was adopted in 1982 but never implemented (yes 1982 is not a typo). Hollister Ranch is home to some of the wealthiest individuals and the homeowners association must have a significant legal war chest. We appreciate the California Coastal Commission’s efforts to get public access restored. We also want to thank the LA Times for covering this topic to keep Californians informed.

The Hollister Ranch Owners Association (HROA) once delegated management of the Hollister Ranch Shoreline Preserve to a separate group known as the Hollister Ranch Conservancy, but their website has been taken down. They used to provide docents for special visits by schools and organizations that wished to see the beaches and tide pools. We are unsure if this community service still continues.

There is a boat hoist on the Gaviota State Park Pier which is used by the public for accessing the Hollister beaches and surf spots, but check the park website to see if it’s open. Even if you can get out to these surf spots, Hollister Ranch is known for fierce localism.

West of Hollister Ranch there is another private area known as Cojo-Jalama Ranch which blocks public access to all the beaches near Cojo Bay and Point Conception.

Address
Hollister Ranch Rd
Goleta, CA 93117
Park Name
Hollister Ranch Shoreline Preserve
Other Names
Breaks: San Augustine, Razorblades, Razors, Drakes, Little Drakes, R&L, L&R, Cuarta Canyon. Beaches: Agua Caliente, Alegria, Sacate, Drakes, Bulito, San Augustin.
Owner
State, Ranch
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on Hollister's beaches
Activities
Surfing, Boating, Tidepooling, Beach Exploration
Amenities
Tide Pools, No Facilities
Map of Hollister Ranch Beaches
Tajiguas, US
3:22 am, May 30, 2024
temperature icon 51°F
L: 51° H: 71°
Feels like 50.29 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 1 m/s
UV Index: 0
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:50 am
Sunset: 8:07 pm
Humidity 84 %
Pressure1015 mb
Wind 1 m/s

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