Earlier this spring, a group of us decided to take a bouldering day trip to Santa Barbara. We arrived at our destination, Lizard’s Mouth, only to find it socked in by a cold marine layer of fog. After some painfully cold “warmup” traverses at the Lizard’s Mouth, we bailed. But on the way out we decided to check out The Brickyard, which I hadn’t seen since before the 2008 Gap Fire. It took us two tries to find the right path (the second trail downhill from Lizard’s mouth, not the first!), since the area is virtually unrecognizable. Before the fire, the approach into the boulders led through thick overgrowth. The boulders, obscured by the trees, were hidden within a maze of winding paths … In contrast, here are some pictures of the area today.
The place is enchanting – a steady breeze blew through soft, waving grasses and lush patches of wildflowers. Some remaining trees still shade many of the newly-visible boulders scattered on the hillside, with Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean spread out below.
Directions to the Brickyard: from Hwy 154, take West Camino Cielo for 3.4 miles and park. Follow the trail on the left, downhill towards the ocean. Don’t miss the classic “Yeti”. The guidebook for the area is called Ocean’s 11.