A Walk in the Ruins of Knapp’s Castle

“There is a castle on a cloud
I like to go there in my sleep.”
-Les Miserables

View of the ruins from the short trail

I love castles. Knapp’s Castle, unfortunately, was destroyed in a forest fire during the 1940s and all that’s left of it are sandstone ruins, fireplace pillars and some of the wall structures. This private property in Santa Barbara, California has a panoramic view of Lake Cachuma and Santa Ynez Valley. The owner is generous enough to open it to the public. The road to get there is paved but quite narrow and filled with twists and turns.

Once you get to the trailhead, park at the side of the road. I would not consider this a hike. It would be better to arrive early because it is a popular destination spot. It should be less than a mile from the trailhead to the ruins and back.

Below are several pictures of the ruins. If you decide to visit, you’ll probably see a lot of couples, engagement photo shoots, and tourist. In our case, we had to deal with a few drunk teens who mostly stayed out of our way but were still loud and obnoxious enough to be somewhat of a nuisance – or maybe I just prefer some peace and quiet during my hikes with nature.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I somewhat enjoyed visiting Knapp’s Castle.

My tips for this trip:
1. This should only a side trip if you’re in the Santa Barbara area.
2. Even if it’s only less than a mile round trip, always bring a bottle of water with you. It offers no shade and it does get hot during the summer.
3. There’s a debate on whether an adventure pass is needed to park on the side of the street. Make sure to double check before you go.
4. There are no restrooms in the area.
5. Bring a camera. Check out the link below if you’re looking for a new camera.
Disclosure: Please be aware I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post at no additional cost to you. Please read Amazon Affiliate Disclosure and Affiliate Disclosure.

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Thanks for taking time to read my post and feel free to comment or ask questions. Please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn found at the bottom of my page. You may also visit my website for outdoor gears.

www.nothingbutgears.com

-Bel

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82 Comments Add yours

  1. dawnautom says:

    Nice post dear. ❤️✌️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

      1. dawnautom says:

        Your Welcome dear. ❤️✌️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. JR Winton says:

    Hello Bel, this is some beautiful work! Pictures are wonderful! Love to see the world in all its beauty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Hi JR! Thank you so much. It’s a beautiful place and easy to capture on camera. The world is full of stunning sceneries…😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Iris says:

    Hi Bel! Just came across your blog, I like it! Beautiful photography! What WP theme do you use? Do you have any tips for me as a starting blogger? Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you Iris! My wp theme is Dyad 2. I know it may sound cheesy but write about what you love and the rest will follow 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  4. AJ says:

    Thanks for the info! I prefer peace and quiet in nature too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      You’re welcome 😊 Being quiet with nature is an awesome feeling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AJ says:

        It is and I admit I resent people who ruin it for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        It’s different when people are just enjoying it – but being drunk and loud in an obnoxius way is a completely different story…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. AJ says:

        For sure!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. threefrenchs says:

    Love this area, and never new this place existed. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      It’s pretty neat. I’m sure you’d like it as well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    I need to get to the Santa Barbara area.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      You should! There’s so much to see 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aFrankAngle says:

        Passed through on a wine trip to Paso Robles. We fly into SB, then went north … first at a few wineries north of SB before heading north … then a few more in the Dutch town featured in Sideways (the movie) on the way back .. but very little time in and around SB.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Paso Robles is nice and you can’t go wrong with the wineries. Dutch town is probably Solvang – I like that place too.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. aFrankAngle says:

        Solvang … that’s the place. We had 3 wonderful days in Paso. Solvang was nice … but our time was limited. Our first day we had a wonderful afternoon at Fess Parker.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bel says:

        Sounds like an amazing time! I love the wineries they are so relaxing and you can spend hours there just enjoying the view.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. aFrankAngle says:

        Have you visited Fess Parker? I believe in San Ynez Valley north of SB. A wonderful & relaxing setting!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Bel says:

        Yes, I’ve been to most of the wineries in Santa Ynez Valley and loved it. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      7. aFrankAngle says:

        Ah ha … you must have good taste!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Bel says:

        Lol! I just love wineries – I should write about them one day. 👍

        Liked by 1 person

      9. aFrankAngle says:

        A toast to you … Clink! We had a great time in Paso … Justin is a great tour … Loved Opolo, Peach Canyon, and several downtown as Pianetta and Anglum.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. lau5rah says:

    The pictures are stunning 🌟🎉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

  8. idjourneys says:

    It is a surprise for me that California has castles even ruins. Have many beautiful hikes!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Lol! Castles are everywhere it seems 😂 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. idjourneys says:

        In Europe castles were build mainly for defence. I don’t know what is the reason they were build in California. For me California means ocean, beach, Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park. I have many other things to learn. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        And don’t forget Mountains 😊❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, I love your blog! I’ve nominated you for the three days, three quotes challenge. I’d love it if you joined in! Here’s the link: https://theseareourdreams.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/three-days-three-quotes-day-two/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks for the reblog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I want to open a travel blog too. But I don’t know where should I start🙄

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      As long as you love to travel – you’ll find your way. Just write about where you go and what you do…😊

      Like

      1. Ohk. I have travelled quite a lot. I thought before starting a travelling page I should start from a normal writing page to get there. Or should I ask you to take me with you hehe just kidding cheers. Thankyou

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        You’re welcome. Keep me posted when you start your travel blog. I would love to read about it!

        Like

      3. Where will I find your Instagram handle🙄

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bel says:

        my instagram is roadsbeltravelled 😊

        Like

  11. dweezer19 says:

    Looks like a very cool place!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. startingat54 says:

    Thank you. I lived near there, in Lompoc, Vandenberg AFB as a child. Wish we never had to leave.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bel says:

      Such a pretty area! You must have enjoyed it immensely.

      Like

  13. Elihu says:

    Wow! I grew up in California and didn’t even know about this place. Sounds fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      There’s so many hidden gems in California and it’s great to explore them 😊 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. beautiful pictures Bel. Very interesting to learn about castles ruined and I imagine you don’t have many castles where you are. But it was good of you to share the ruins of what is left of a castle. I love castles!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Definitely not like Scotland or Ireland but still pretty amazing to explore. I love Castles too – there’s something magical about it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You should one day visit France, which I hope you have been before. You will cruise from castles to castles until you dropped haha, too many to see. I have some pics I have taken and not shared yet, still preparing the post that goes with it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Bel says:

        I’m looking forward to reading and seeing the pictures on your blog then! Keep me posted once you’ve uploaded them. France is definitely on my list. Hopefully someday….😊

        Liked by 1 person

  15. LifeAmazing says:

    Love this post, and your others too. Thankyou for sharing your adventures.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you for taking time to read it. I truly appreciate it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Bel! I love to read about your hikes. There is a really cool ruins of a restaurant on top of Mt. Evans Colorado that looks similar to this place. I think you would love it. Thanks for taking us along on your journeys.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      I’m hoping to explore Colorado as well. It’s on my long list – hopefully sooner rather than later! Thanks for the tip on Mt. Evans restaurant ruins. I will definitely check it out when I’m there. 😊

      Like

  17. bethanyk says:

    What an amazing view! Beautiful pictures.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you! It really was amazing 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  18. tw0511 says:

    Beautiful photos

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

  19. What a view, Bel. There are so few castles in the US and few that are now ruins. I can definitely see wedding photos (as well as rowdy teenagers) taking advantage of the site. The long-distance shot is magical. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bel says:

      The long distance shot was an afterthought on the way back to the trailhead. I turned around and realized I missed it earlier because I was looking at the other views..there were so many 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s magical. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        Thanks 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks ❤️

      Like

  20. I couldn’t go there…because of my “issues” but my family enjoyed the visit…and I enjoyed their photos–just like I enjoy yours! 😁👍💯

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Lol! I wish you had you would have loved it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Santa Ynez isn’t the Grand Canyon but I know my limitations! I need handrails…walls…security! Meds are also an option! 😜😁👍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        You had me at handrails 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Nadya B says:

    It’s on my list for my next SB trip! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      Yay! So much to see in SB. So excited for you Nadya! 😊

      Like

  22. ruins are fascinating to me. it makes you imagine what life might have been like. they are stories waiting to be written.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bel says:

      I feel the same way. It gives us a glimpse of a piece of history and what life was like back then. I hope I’d be able to visit more ruins in the future. Thank you for the comment. Truly appreciated 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Bel says:

      Thanks. I added some more pictures for some reason it didn’t all come out when I first published it. 😊

      Like

      1. Kelly MacKay says:

        I have had that problem too. WP is acting weird last few days.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bel says:

        They have a new WP editor too. It probably just messed with me..😊

        Like

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