The Ranch

The Ranch

Dinghy boat at Hollister Ranch in Santa Barbara, California,
Boat to Hollister Ranch – Flickr | bucketsoflife

The Hollister and Bixby Ranches are places lost in time. Cattle and deer roam the hills of these private ranches. Like Jalama to the north, The Ranch is a glimpse into what the California Coast looked like before the times of urban sprawl and heavy development.

Access to The Ranch is heavily restricted.  ATV-riding security guards patrol the perimeter of the property looking for trespassers.

The train tracks that run parallel to the coast were once a popular route for surfers looking to make their way onto The Ranch. But the tracks are now patrolled by security too.

You really only have two options for surfing the ranch: A) Secure an invite by someone who owns a parcel of land. B) Boat into the lineup. There are only a few hundred homes on The Ranch, so it’s unlikely that you are lucky enough know anyone with the ability to invite you onto the property. This leaves you with boating in.  The Gaviota Fishing Pier is the closest spot for launching a boat.

Spots at the Hollister and Bixby Ranches include:

  • Government Point – Long rocky right point break.
  • Perko’s – A good summer break that picks up south swell.
  • Cojo Point & Reef – Probably the best wave at the Ranch.  Picks up both big winter and summer swells.
  • St. Augustine’s – A mediocre wave with both rights and lefts on summer south swells.
  • Drakes – A localized long right point break.  This point can hold big west swells and works up to double overhead.
  • Razor Blades – The name is derived from the sharp rocks that surround the beach.  This is the first spot to boat in to from the Gaviota pier.  Takes a big west or northwest swell to work.

 The Ranch Surf Spot Map

Back to all Santa Barbara Surf Spots