05 April 2011

Round House in the Sky

A friend recently pointed out a structure in the mountains which she could see from Santa Barbara; it looked like a round tank or building with arches on the sides. We could not locate it on any map so a mountain adventure was quickly orchestrated so we could try and find it!

Route outline - we started to the south (right)
and worked our way north (left)

Based on where the building was in the mountains, we figured it would be located off of Gibraltar road, a narrow windy path which creeps slowly up the sheer cliffs of the Santa Ynez mountains. After 30 or 45 minutes of climbing, we came to a location where we could see the structure off one side of the road, but we had NO idea how to get to it.

Gibraltar Rd (in red) between Hwy 192 and Camino Cielo

looking west

We headed back down the hill and took a small turnoff which headed in the right direction. We parked on Gibraltar, and walked for ten or fifteen minutes out this rutted, dirt road.

we parked on Gibraltar and walked out a driveway for 10 minutes

Here is the turnoff (left) and Gibraltar road (continues to right)

We walked down the driveway and found the structure, which appeared to be an almost finished circular house! Perched on the edge of a small ledge, the house offers 270 degree views of the greater Santa Barbara area. The place doesn't appear to be lived in, but may still slowly be being built.

looking north/north-east (ocean behind us)

view of santa barbara from house

view from house looking west towards Goleta

Graph showing speed and elevation

Here is a google Map showing the location of this structure (green arrow)

View Larger Map

Download the GPX file to explore this adventure more in-depth in Google Earth!

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