He'lapunitse Trailhead

Bacara sits in the peaceful, protected Bell and Tecolote Canyons, an area known to the Chumash Native American people as He'lapunitse, which means, "place of the shovelnose guitarfish."

Countless generations of chumash people have enjoyed gathering in this pleasant relaxing area to fish and collect plants for food, medicine and raw materials used to build homes, canoes, baskets and many other useful things. Beach the Chumash people of today walk in both traditional and modern worlds, plants revered for their ancient uses now play equally important roles in contemporary Chumash life.

As you stroll along the 1/4 mile trail, you will encounter many of these important plant species, all of which are native to Southern California. The trail includes many beautiful and informative signs that demonstrate the uses of specific plants in Chumash culture. Along this trail are also plants normally found at higher elevations in the chaparral plant community. These sensitive canyon and estuary ecosystems are now protected and preserved as a part of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy's partnership with the Bacara Resort.

Bacara extends a special thanks to the Chumash artists, weavers, designers, writers, photographers and herbalists who shared their knowledge, design talent and photographic resources in the creation of the The Chumash Nature Trail at He'lapunitse.

Please do not try to gather these plants, as many of them are toxic if not properly handled.

Trail Sign

  • He'lapunitse Trailhead Audio