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Lizard's Mouth

Santa Barbara, California, United States


Lizard's Mouth is an area of sandstone outcroppings way above Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Mountains. To get here, you hike one quarter mile over some slightly slanted rock, until you reach an area of caves and boulders. Find your own little spot where you can picnic and behold the sweeping views below.
There are so many things to see here! Behold the pretty sight of boulder upon boulder settled on the sloping mountainside. This sight reminds me of Ireland for some reason! There are boulders of all shapes and sizes. Hike up and sit atop the Lizard's Mouth, a jutting rock- it looks like a lizard's mouth once you climb down underneath it. From the top of the lizard's mouth, you can see all around you on every side, along the coast as far as Oxnard and beyond, and down into the inland valleys below.
Kids will have a blast endlessly exploring this area, especially when they find caves or large "windows" in the rock. Be careful because there is broken glass on the ground.
Watch out- the rocks here amplify your voice and people can hear you loud as ever from way across the other side. I once heard all the nitty gritty details of some guy's personal life- I was sitting hundreds of feet away but it sounded like he was talking right in my ear! Plus, it's kind of annoying listening to loud-mouths when you've come here to hear the wonderful silence.
A great way to spend time here is to watch the sun set over Goleta. My husband proposed to me here and it was so romantic! Bring a sweater- it gets cold once the sun goes down.
Other places to explore on Highway 154 are: Lake Cachuma, a serene lake with grassy picnic areas and a nice playground; Playgrounds, a hiking and rock-climbing spot up in the mountains with huge boulders and panoramic views of Santa Barbara; and Santa Ynez River, a quiet, peaceful river where you can skid rocks and go for an icy swim.
There are some cute towns if you continue north on Highway 154, towns that were featured in the movie "Sideways." Check out the touristy Danish town of Solvang, or the wine-room town of Los Olivos.

Photo Gallery

There are lots of low caves to be found at Lizard's Mouth! You can spread a blanket out in their shade and have a picnic!

View from one of the caves.

Standing atop the mouth of the lizard...

If you hike a few minutes until you're up high, you can see far south along the coast, all the way to Oxnard and beyond.

Round window in the rock.

Looking back on the beginning of the trail- memorize this so you can find it!

Boulders everywhere at Lizard's Mouth.

Boulders in all shapes and sizes.

The view on a clear, beautiful day.

Wandering around the rocks.

Interesting large holes in the boulders.

Strange boulder!

Path through a boulder paradise.

Picnic blanket in the shade of boulders.

A round boulder and shadow.

Funny shapes in the rock.

A couple sits on the rock and takes in the view of the ocean.

Mossy spot.

Fun places for kids to play with small toys and make a cliff dwelling village!

Wild place to stand!

The amazing shape of the rocks, like a multi-layered sandwich!

Golden rocks and sky.

View of the ocean and two boulders.

See the layers of clouds at the islands in the distance.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

From Highway 101, take the State St/Highway 154 exit. Follow the signs to Highway 154 and head up the mountain. After the fourth turnout, turn left on Kinevan Rd (the large sign on Highway 154 says "West Camino Cielo Rd." Take the left fork, which is West Camino Cielo Rd. Continue past the mailboxes on the left. Pass the unusual boulder on the right and the Windemere sign. Pass a water tank on the right. The trailhead will be on your left. It's not marked. The best way to find it is to go too far and pass it! Go as far as the Winchester Canyon Gun Club and then turn around and park along the road. The trail is now on your right. A few steps into the trailhead, there's a dark brown sign with yellow lettering that says LIZARDS MOUTH ROCK. You may see other cars there to give you a clue to where the trail starts. 
Watch out for poison oak- it grows along the dry creek that will be on your left as you walk along.
In case you want to try to use your GPS, here is the address for the gun club, which is past the trailhead but a handy reference: 6621 West Camino Cielo, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.
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