Where to have a desert bonfire near Santa Barbara?
February 18, 2011 2:29 PM   Subscribe

What's a good place to have a bonfire in the desert near Santa Barbara?

We are looking for a place to go and build a bonfire this weekend (tomorrow night) near Santa Barbara, CA. Can you recommend somewhere that's not too far and in a beautiful desert location that allows fire.

posted by yoz420 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you mind hiking into it?
posted by k8t at 2:37 PM on February 18, 2011

If you don't mind hiking in, Haskalls Beach is the popular spot.
posted by k8t at 2:39 PM on February 18, 2011

Given the recent rains and time of year, this is probably not a problem, but obviously only do this where it's allowed--since the Santa Barbara mountains routinely catch flame and have caused serious damage.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 2:46 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you want actual desert, you're in for a drive towards the Mojave, which is a ways from Santa Barbara. Beaches are a bit easier to come by in Santa Barbara.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:14 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

You're going to have to give a better description of what "near Santa Barbara", or "not too far" means to you, because to get to any kind of desert from there, you're pretty much looking at a minimum one-way drive of an hour, most likely over two, and that's before taking into consideration anyplace that would allow an open fire. Also, it's supposed to rain this weekend, which might damper your enjoyment.
posted by LionIndex at 3:19 PM on February 18, 2011

You can have a big campfire at a brushy site near the beach or a sneaky the-cops-probably-won't-bug-you fire on the beach of McGrath State Beach here in Ventura. But it's supposed to be a wet weekend. Fortunately, there's a roller derby double header going on Saturday too, indoors. ;)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:06 PM on February 18, 2011

The closest desert to you where you can get away with open fire really is kind of far, probably some BLM land in Kern County east of Tehachapi. Sadly, it will also be pretty chilly (highs in the 40s), and possibly wet there this weekend.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:27 PM on February 18, 2011

Yeah, as others have said, fires and California don't go together very well. I live in the desert (near Joshua Tree National Park) and wildfire is a major hazard here. Make sure to check with the fire agency that has jurisdiction over whatever area you're in to see IF it is even permissible and if a fire permit is needed. If you were to just light a bonfire in my neck of the woods (or desert), you'd be very lucky if a serious ass-kicking by the locals was all the grief you received.
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:48 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

I do understand that fire can be a hazard here, and I don't want to be irresponsible, within about 3 hours drive would count as close for the purposes of this question.
posted by yoz420 at 10:17 PM on February 18, 2011

Red Rock Canyon state park north of Mojave, absolutely beautiful serious desert. You can have a campfire there.
posted by hortense at 12:09 AM on February 19, 2011

Don't forget the Adventure Pass if you are going to be in Los Padres National Forest, the hills north and northeast of SB.
posted by Xoebe at 9:30 AM on February 20, 2011

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