Cachuma Lake


Cachuma Lake is a reservoir in the Santa Ynez Valley of central Santa Barbara County, California, on the Santa Ynez River adjoining the north side of California State Route 154. The artificial lake was created by the construction of Bradbury Dam, a 201 ft (61 m) earth-fill structure built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1953.


Cachuma Lake is beautiful and located in the mountains about 30min from Santa Barbara. The lake makes a perfect getaway for any van or RV nomad who wants to be on the water. 

The lake has a marina, campground, and other amenities for you to enjoy. The main recreation on the lake is fishing. You can rent a boat at the marina. Just make sure to have a fishing license.

No Swimming – Cachuma Lake is a domestic water supply, and as such, swimming, water-skiing, windsurfing, or any other body contact with the water is prohibited.

Map: Cachuma Lake Map  


There are 4 miles of hiking trails around that lake that you can enjoy. These are very easy that anyone can do. Take a look at the lake map for a list of them but are few are:

  • Mohawk Mesa Loop Trail
  • Oak Canyon Trail
  • Sweetwater Trail


Cachuma Lake is a popular fishing destination in Southern California. Pick up a map at the Marina to locate the best places to catch small and largemouth bass, rainbow trout, crappie, and catfish. A fishing license is required for those aged 16 and up. 

A bait/tackle shop, along with a gas station, is located in the Marina. Boats, kayaks, and canoes may be rented on an hourly, half-day, or daily basis. Mooring services are available.

Licenses are available at the Marina. Shoreline fishing is permitted within the campground.


There is one campground located at the lake with tent sites, hookups, cabins, yurts, and group areas. It also has a general store, gas station, coin-operated laundromat, and hot showers. 

Located at the campground is a playground, lake cruises, the nature center, fishing piers, and hiking trails. The Marina is open year-round and sells bait and tackle, fuel, and fishing licenses.  You can also rent boats. 

Website: Cabhuna Lake Recreational Area


From the South: Take Highway 101 north to Santa Barbara.  Take the “Cachuma Lake/Highway 154” exit and follow the signs. Drive approximately 18 miles.  There is a sign for the park ½ mile before the entrance, and there is a right turn lane to use for your safety.

From the North: Take Highway 101 south to the “Cachuma Lake/Highway 154” exit.  Make a left at the stop sign and drive approximately 14 miles.  There is a sign ¼ mile before the park entrance, and there is a left turn lane to use for your safety.

References and Links


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