Photo Contest Takes Aim on Gaviota’s Scenic Beauty

The Santa Barbara County Trails Council (Trails Council), a non-profit advocacy group that supports trail use for all types of outdoor recreation, announced the launch of the Gaviota Coast Photo Contest. The goal of the competition is capturing significant moments that evoke the feel and mood of the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County. This area is one of the largest remaining stretches of undeveloped coastline in southern California. Visitors enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands National Park, undeveloped coastal bluffs, agricultural land, varied native habitats and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

 Images will be shared with community members via an online gallery and at an awards ceremony and reception in June 2017. Copies of the winning photographs will be auctioned off to raise funds to complete Baron Ranch Trail spanning 3.0 miles between Hwy 101 to the Los Padres National Forest. So far, the Trails Council has raised 25% of the estimated $465,000 needed to complete the project.

Gaviota Photo Contest

View from Gaviota Peak | Photo Credit: Curt Cragg

Here’s How The Contest Works

Share your best shots showing images photographed in the Gaviota Coast area or directly adjacent – beaches, mountains, etc., before midnight (PST) on May 1st, 2017.

  • You always maintain the rights to your submissions.
  • By entering the contest you accept the terms of use (some use rights will be conveyed to Trails Council for promotional and fundraising use)
  • Entries accepted until May 1st, 2017.
  • Judging is based on creativity, originality and in accord with the five categories.
  • Entry fee: $20 for up to 10 images
  • Total prize value of: over $2000

Complete rules are posted here:

WHO: Contest is open to all of the following

  • High School Students – age 13 and older
  • Amateur Photographers
  • Professional Photographers

WHAT: The photo contest is limited to images shot in the Gaviota Coast area

The mission of the contest is to celebrate the beauty of the Gaviota Coast, therefore all photos must be taken within the area or directly adjacent – beaches, mountains, etc. Judging in June is by arts and photography professionals and community leaders who will select images for first, second, third, and honorable mention awards in these five categories.

  • Landscape
  • Recreation
  • Wildlife
  • Close-up
  • Only in Gaviota

The $1000 gift card prize for best in show will be selected from the winners in the five categories. All images will be eligible for a “people’s choice” award based on online voting.

WHEN: The contest will run until midnight May 1st. There will be a reception and exhibit June and the winners will be announced.

WHERE: The contest will take place online at . The contest will end with a social event with the top images displayed; awards announced, and a silent auction will be held. The location of the exhibit/reception will be determined in April.


Join with the Sant Barbara Trails Council for a happy hour celebration of the beauty of the Gaviota Coast. Come and view images from the 2017 Gaviota Coast Photo Contest on display Wednesday June 21st from 5:30 – 7:30PM at the Impact Hub in the Funk Zone, 10 East Yannonali, across the street from the train depot. Enjoy a selection of wine, beer, and appetizers, and listen to guitarist Chad Stone while images of the spectacular Gaviota Coast show in continuous rotation on Impact Hub’s jumbotron display.

In addition to an awards ceremony honoring the top images in five categories, those in attendance will be entered into a drawing for door prize gift certificates to nearby restaurants. The suggested donation of $10 includes a beverage.

Please attend, enjoy the images, and look forward to hiking the trail and experiencing the beauty of the Gaviota Coast yourself in the near future.

Special thanks to our team of judges for reviewing over 375 images in search of the best in five categories:

In addition to the Santa Barbara County Trails Council, sponsors include:

Impact Hub | Funk Zone
10 E. Yanonali Street
(first block east of State Street)
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Wednesday, June 21st
5:30pm – 7:30pm

Gaviota Coast Photography Contest



Baron Ranch Trail

View of Baron Ranch | Photo Credit: Steve Faulstich

The Trails Council, an IRS approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, has established a Baron Ranch Trail Fund to accept donations specifically to construct this project. Community members can donate to the fund at with an online donation or by downloading a pledge form for mail-in donations.

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