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Santa Barbara, California

Hiking trails in Santa Barbara?

I've heard there are really cool hiking trails right outside the city. Does anyone have recommendations?

5 Answers

top answer by
Chris from Manhattan Beach, California

Seven Falls is amazing.  Beautiful views.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Seven Falls (attraction)
4 thanks

answered first by
Sarah from Santa Barbara

Yes! A great one to get started with is Inspiration Point or Rattlesnake Canyon Trail. Both are pretty easy and about a 5 minute drive from downtown. Jesusita Trail is more challenging and shares the Inspiration Point trailhead. San Ysidro Trail and Cold Spring Trail are also popular but longer and more difficult.

Maybe a 15 minute drive from downtown, Lizard's Mouth is fun rock hopping with views, if you happen to be going up the 154:

Check out the front country hikes listed here along with trailhead and driving descriptions:

Note that it's super dry, so don't choose a hike expecting to see a waterfall :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Inspiration Point (attraction)
  2. Rattlesnake Canyon Trail (attraction)
  3. Jesusita Trail (attraction)
  4. San Ysidro Trail (attraction)
  5. Cold Spring Trail (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Rob from Ventura

Contact the Montecito trails foundation, they have a great map of the front country. John McKinney "the trail master" is a local expert you should check out.

1 thanks

answered by
Mike from Los Angeles

I remember a nice hike up Gaviota Peak I did a while back. Not too hard, but a nice afternoon hike and nice view from the top.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Gaviota Peak (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Andreas from Sandviken, Sweden

I have three favorites:

Inspiration point is the easiest. It is about 3.5 miles round trip (up to inspiration point and back down again). Lots of uphill first half.

Jesusita trail is the same as Inspiration Point until you get to the peak, but then continues down on the other side. It is very nice, but the downside is that it doesn't take you back to the starting point which can be a problem if you have you parked your car at the start. It is about 7 miles.

Tunnel is a nice, but tougher hike. It is about 11 miles round trip. The trails starts at the same place as the other two hikes, and goes up to the highest peak in Santa Barbara County. The first half is all uphill (last mile on a car road from the end of the trail to the peak) and then it is the same way down again. Because there is car access to the peak it is possible to be picked up by car.

All three hikes start at the end of 1488 Tunnel Rd. There is limited parking space so it is good to be there early.

For other options this is a good site:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tunnel Trail (attraction)
  2. Inspiration Point (attraction)
  3. Jesusita Trail (attraction)
  4. 1488 Tunnel Rd (attraction)

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