BEACH WALK INFORMATION
Distance—3 miles east from Coal Oil Point beach access to Goleta Beach; 1.5 miles west to Ellwood Bluffs; 3 miles west to Haskells Beach. Topo—Goleta
From State Street, follow Highway 101 west for 11.1 miles to the Glen Annie turnoff which leads south to Isla Vista. Curve left around the eight story Francisco Torres towers complex then turn right on Camino Corto and drive until it ends at Del Playa. Go right a block to the access point. An alternative walk can be made by parking near Isla Vista School and walking out along the West Campus Road to the point.
There is a fair amount of tar on the beach due to oil seeps in the Channel. I would advise old tennies for walking and/or taking care where you put your feet.
As you leave your car and head out to the edge of the bluffs the view west to Devereaux Point is outstanding. In the evening sunset the long peninsula-shaped point and the sihlouettes of coastal fir trees makes for a perfect picture. You can reach the point either by following the top of the bluffs or dropping down the stairs and walking along the beach.
Once you are on the beach you can walk in either direction for long distances. There are several miles of almost straight beachfront to the east leading past Isla Vista to Campus Point. West is Devereaux Point, three-quarters mile of wide, sandy beach which leads to the rocky point. At lower tides the exposed rocks and pools make for great exploration. This is a kid's paradise.
As you round the point you will find miles of long beach ahead of you, long stretches where you will rarely see more than four or five people. A mile ahead are the bluffs leading inland to the Monarch Groves. A road leads up to the top of the bluffs and from there you will find numerous paths leading to the eucalyptus forests where the Monarch butterflies live in the wintertime.
On the way back you can follow the blufftops back to the east and drop back down to the beach not too far from Devereaux Point. Or if you still have the energy, paths lead north and then around the Devereaux Slough. Follow the West Campus Road back to the beach area and then your car.
For a real treat, park a shuttle car at Haskell's Beach and make the hike from Isla Vista to Haskell's a one-way adventure.