Ellwood Mesa Reopens

Major Winter Storms Caused Severe Damage to Eucalyptus Forest and Infrastructure

The City of Goleta is happy to announce the reopening of Ellwood Mesa to the public, effective March 1, 2024. The Ellwood Mesa was temporarily closed following severe winter storms that caused several landslides, downed dozens of large trees, and damaged a critical authorized vehicle access road. The City completed major tree work to reduce risks to trail users and protect monarch butterfly habitat. Additional work is planned in the coming month to restore the authorized vehicle access road.

Public safety and the protection of sensitive wildlife habitat remains the City’s top priorities at Ellwood Mesa. Please take note of the following important points:

  1. Potential Tree Hazards: Trees and large branches within the grove may pose a risk of falling. Visitors are urged to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings. Enter at your own risk.
  2. Eroded Bluffs and Trails: The natural beauty of Ellwood Mesa includes its rugged bluffs and scenic trails. However, erosion has affected some areas. Trail users are advised to stay on trails and avoid the bluff edge.
  3. Stay Off Closed Trails and Out of Work Zones: For your safety and the safety of our maintenance crews and first responders, please avoid using any closed trails. Closed trails are clearly marked with onsite signage. Closure locations may change depending on site conditions and work crew schedules. The decision to temporarily close specific trails is based on careful consideration of public safety. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in respecting these temporary closures. Beach access remains open, but some trails down to the beach may have detour signage or exclusion fencing to avoid eroded areas.

The parking lot is now reopened to the public at Ellwood Mesa Open Space & Sperling Preserve parking area, located at 7729 Hollister Avenue (across from Ellwood Elementary School).

For additional information or inquiries, please contact George Thomson, Parks and Open Space Manager, at 805-961-7578 or gthomson@cityofgoleta.org.