Camping can be so much work. Not at El Capitan Cyn. Glamorous camping is defined at El Capitan Canyon. We stayed in safari tent #183. It was just installed a few months prior and looked practically brand new. This raised 12'x14' tent was the last tent in our section and not having a neighbor on the end made it feel very open. I would request for #183 again in the future. It was nicely appointed with two queen beds, a storage trunk for personal items, side table w/lamp, another desk/table, alarm clock radio, two handmade, rustic armchairs, ceiling light fixture, circulating fan, and space heater. They even provided towels and toiletries. There is room to store ice chests or other camping supplies, but at El Cap, you can basically show up with nothing more than a toothbrush and a fresh set of clothes, and everything else can be purchased there! Things are reasonably priced, too. There are bathhouses located throughout and they are the cleanest I've seen in any campground. I even used their showers, which I was unsure about before I got there. Very clean all around. After unloading, we went to the market to purchase 6 loads of wood and 2 bags of ice for our 4-day/3-night stay. To our surprise, El Cap will deliver your purchases directly to your tent/cabin if desired! What service! The next morning, we went our for a light hike and when we returned, our beds were made! Even though this is standard procedure, not knowing it made this unexpected service a delightful surprise. Yes, you can order food in advance from the market/cafe, and that too, can be delivered right to your door. We used the space heater twice, as it was quite chilly even on summer nights. Everyone slept very well. The tent had 4 large zip around windows for air flow. Zip them up at dusk or it will get very cold in your tent quickly on a cold night. The entrance had an inner screen and an outer canvas door that zips securely all the way down and across the bottom to prevent critters from entering. Use these zippers as skunks, squirrels or other critters will definitely enter and invade your space if you don't. We saw a fox the first night, 2 sets of quail families scurrying about, a roadrunner, a deer family, and we heard frogs croaking from the creek. A skunk walked right under our tent one night, while another skunk snuck right by me in the dark and scared the bejeezus out of me. We also heard a great horned owl hooting very late at night that echoed throughout the canyon. We were lead on short hike to the llama farm by the owner of El Capitan Cyn. He provided a brief overview of the canyon's history and informed us that the appearance of poison oak was redish-brown this time of year, not green as one might expect. We were allowed to enter the gated area to feed the goats, sheep and llamas. The wildlife provided tons of great memories. They made for entertaining stories to tell our friends, family and anyone who would listen to us when we returned home. The car free canyon made it very safe for everyone to ride bikes around. You can borrow their bikes for 2 hrs., free of charge. We also drove under the freeway to El Capitan St. beach. There is a $10 fee to enter and there is a small snack shack. Warning - this beach does have tar naturally seeping through the sand so expect some to stick to your feet/clothes. Take a short walk south on the beach and the same creek from El Capitan Cyn. empties into the ocean here. This is where my son and a group of friendly families were delightfully entertained with searching for and playing with tadpoles and frogs. In addition, there are tidepools with barnacles, mussels, urchins, and sea anenomes in the same area. Stick your finger in one of those, at your own risk, and they quickly close up! You'd miss these discoveries of you don't wander away from your towel much. Our trip was constantly filled with life's simple pleasures such as these. Can't say enough about this glamping experience. I won't go camping any other way and annual summer trips to El Capitan is definitely in our future. SIDENOTE: Since they don't allow dogs, my friend had her dog stay at Sam's Doggie Dude Ranch 2 miles away. It's like a B&B for dogs (a bed and biscuit). It's no small kennel facility, as the owner/operator Susie takes all the doggies for a daily ranch exercise on several hundred acres of open space w/your approval. With an ocean view, it's like glamping for your dogs! They'll enjoy it as much as you will.
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- Also Known As:
- El Capitan Canyon Hotel Santa Barbara
- El Capitan Canyon Santa Barbara
- Santa Barbara El Capitan Canyon Hotel