Leo Carrillo State Park has 1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beachcombing. The beach also has tidepools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring. Giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds. The park also features back-country hiking.
The park was named after Leo Carrillo (1880-1961), actor, preservationist and conservationist. Leo Carrillo served on the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years, and was instrumental in the state's acquisition of the Hearst property at San Simeon. He was related by blood and marriage to a long line of distinguished original Californians. Leo's greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid, an early 1950's TV series.
Tide pools—During seasonal low tides, visitors may spot sea stars, anemones, mussels, crabs and other tide pool creatures. Tide pool animals are fragile and need your help to protect them. Picking up animals may injure them.
Marine mammals—Gray whales migrating down the coast venture in close to the beach. In April and May, gray whales may be seen from the beach as mothers (cows) and babies (calves) return north. Dolphins, harbor seals and sea lions can also be seen swimming along the beach.
Sea birds—Pelicans, gulls, grebes and cormorants glide overhead. Many species of gulls and shorebirds feed along the shoreline while other birds fish in the waters offshore. Pelicans and cormorants are commonly seen resting on rocky outcroppings.
Fishing —Anglers over age 16 need a valid California fishing license to fish for kelp (calico) bass, surf perch, California sheephead, halibut and white sea bass.
Diving—The clear waters of the park are good for scuba diving and snorkeling. Dive with the proper certification, equipment and training, and never dive alone. Ask a lifeguard about ocean conditions and the best diving areas.
Surfing—Swim and surf only in areas with lifeguards, and go with a friend. Sequit Point and nearby Staircase and County Line beaches are especially popular. Swimming, boogie boarding and sunbathing are also favorite activities. Know your limits and learn about weather and ocean conditions. If you get caught in a rip current that causes you to drift from shore, do not swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, then swim back towards shore.
Hikers have a choice of gentle or more energetic walks. Yellow Hill Fire Trail offers panoramic views of the beach; on a clear day, you can see Anacapa, Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz, three of the Channel Islands in the distance out at sea. The steeper Nicholas Flat Trail meanders through wildflowers and various plant communities to a seasonal pond. A short nature trail loops near the campfire center at the rear of Canyon Campground.
The Canyon Campground has 135 family sites, each with a table and fire ring. Restrooms and coin-operated hot showers are nearby. Hike-and-bike campsites are located near campsite #1. The Group Campground at the back of the canyon accommodates up to 50 people. It has picnic tables, two barbecue pits, and restrooms with coin-operated hot showers. Camping reservations are recommended from May through October and on holiday weekends.
En route Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
RV Dump Station
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Nature & Wildlife Viewing