When David Crosby’s wife announced his death on January 18, 2023, the site of his grave was unknown. Sure, folks figured they’d bury him somewhere near his home in California, but it’s not like they announced his gravesite.
It’s a powerful feeling to visit the resting place of a favorite musician. But it’s impossible if you don’t know where the site is.
Today we’re digging into the life and legacy of one of rock’s greatest contributors and exploring where, exactly, he’s buried.
Let’s get into it.
About David Crosby
Nothing about the life of David Crosby was quiet. Born in August of 1941 to an Academy-Award-winning cinematographer and Macy’s counter girl, his light shone early. After his parent’s divorce in 1960, he struggled in school. Eventually dropping out, he starred in several school productions in junior high and high school before he left.
Correspondence was the only way the young troubadour found to finish school. When he did, he followed his folk-rock dreams to Chicago and New York City. Playing with Terry Callier, one of the few Black folk musicians on the scene, his first record never took off. But, one night, Callier introduced him to future members of The Byrds. Rock would never be the same.
The Byrds took American fans by storm with songs like Mr. Tambourine Man and the Crosby penned Eight Miles High. Their sound brought the psychedelic guitar and dreamy vocals to the California sound. After a rough breakup, Crosby joined the supergroup Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
With the addition of Neil Young, CSNY brought the house down. Over the years, Crosby’s drug habit caused him trouble. A stint in prison, a liver transplant, and a long-lost son contributed to his legend.
Starting in 2014, with the help of his son, he recorded five albums before his death in 2023. Songs like Almost Cut My Hair, Guinnevere, and Laughing capture his unsinkable spirit.
Where Is David Crosby Buried?
The two-time Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee lived out his final years in Santa Ynez, California. Thirty minutes from Santa Barbara, this sleepy town of 5,000 embraced the icon. Nestled in wine and horse country, his ranch house is where his most prolific songwriting occurred.
Surrounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains and a short drive to the Pacific Ocean, the town is worth a visit. It’s easy to see why Crosby and his family loved the area. His wife of over 30 years, Jan Dance, and their son continue to reside in the area.
Crosby’s family didn’t disclose the location of his burial right away. It’s a safe bet that he’ll be buried near his home. The gorgeous views inspired him daily, so it seems only fitting that his final resting place be close by. Have no fear, we’ll let you know when David Crosby’s family reveals the site of his grave.
How Did David Crosby Pass Away?
How the singer lived to 81 is a shock on its own. A lifetime of hard drugs and alcohol abuse contributed to his ill health as a young man. Chronic Hepatitis C forced a liver transplant in 1994, and he had eight stents implanted in his heart. In recent years, a diagnosis of diabetes caused further complications.
While no cause of death was officially released, his wife cited a “long illness.” He knew his time was short, and so, in his final days, he reached out to friends. He made the most of his last days, and his funeral will be a fitting send-off.
Why Did David Crosby Plan His Own Funeral?
For a man who lived life at full volume, Crosby wasn’t about to let anyone else plan his funeral. A serious health scare in 2019 reminded the singer of his mortality. So, he put things in motion to ensure the people at his funeral mattered to him.
In interviews, Crosby discussed how important his former bandmates were to him. Even though they weren’t on speaking terms then, he wanted them all there. Joni Mitchell, one-time girlfriend and music legend, and Stills, Nash, and Young made his list. Roger McGuinn from The Byrds was also one of those invited.
After a service held on his ranch, including his son singing his top hits, he’ll be buried. Exactly where remains a mystery, but since the star was so adamant about planning his funeral, we’re sure the site of David Crosby’s grave will be one to visit.
Pro Tip: While in California, stop at these 7 Best Roadside Attractions in California.
Best Hikes Near Santa Ynez
If you travel to Santa Ynez to visit David Crosby’s grave, you should make a trek into the mountains. Perfect Mediterranean weather practically begs you to explore the town and get out for a hike. These are a few of the many trails in the area.
You’ll find some of the best views on the Lover’s Loop trail, accessed via Grass Mountain. The 4.1-mile trail climbs over 700 feet along the way. Popular with hikers and runners, the trail is open year-round. A boarding school owns part of the land and controls access via a permit.
Lover’s Loop is usually rated moderate, but most hikers think the challenge is worth it. Spring wildflowers make this hike especially memorable. The weather in southern California is generally mild, so you can enjoy the scenery any time of year.
Dogs are welcome on this trail if they’re on a leash.
Green Gate Loop
Also owned by the Midland School, Green Gate Loop is a pedestrian and equestrian trail. Nearly three miles around, the loop rates as easy, with only around 400 feet gained along the way. Hikers can fill out permits at the parking lot nearby, but pay attention if you’re bringing a horse along. Equestrians must make a reservation 48 hours in advance of their visit.
Dogs are welcome on this trail if they’re on a leash.
Pro Tip: Avoid visiting these Most Overrated California Tourist Attractions while in the Golden State.
Best Camping Near Santa Ynez
The Santa Ynez Valley drew David Crosby and his family, but the mountains are just as beautiful. Check out these National Forest campgrounds and get close to nature.
Davy Brown Campground
Located in the Los Padres National Forest, the Davy Brown Campground is a rustic retreat from the city. Hidden on Figueroa Mountain, the campground has 13 sites that accommodate RVs up to 25 feet. You won’t find amenities beyond fire rings and picnic tables, but the views are worth it.
The perfect wilderness retreat, the campground sits next to Davy Brown creek. There’s no dump or drinking water, so pack it in and out. You’ll enjoy the hiking and biking trails nearby, though. Make sure you reserve your site during hunting season. The campground is popular that time of year.
Right next to Manzana Creek, Nira Campground’s surrounded by oak trees. Ideally situated for hiking, horseback riding, and fishing, this popular campground is cozy. With 12 sites to choose from, tent and RV camping are available. Several sites are too small to hold an RV, but you’ll be ok if your rig is under 20 feet.
Nira Campground is ideal for bird watchers, and you’ll be pleased to know that several rare species are nearby. Los Padres National Forest is also home to the San Rafael Wilderness, and this campground is near the trailhead. You can’t pick a better jumping-off point if you’re inclined to get lost in the mountains.
Is a Santa Ynez Road Trip Worth It?
If just for the scenery, Santa Ynez is the perfect hideaway. Close enough to Santa Barbara to explore the city, this town has something for everyone. Local eateries and watering holes abound. You can even find Crosby’s favorite spots if you look around.
The musician was known for living large, but you don’t have to party like a rockstar to appreciate the natural beauty he enjoyed. For true fans of David Crosby, a trip to his eventual grave is a pilgrimage worth taking.
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