4/6/2013 - 5.8mi one way to tip top (4 hrs up, but I'm 60): Above Autograph Rock it got pretty overgrown, but the trail was still visible and I could push through the brush. There was one place where referring to my GPS made it easier to find the trail. The bad part were the TICKS! Thousands! The nice part was there is a small, hidden ravine that you go down into after going up above Autograph Rock and through the ticks. There were even a few places where there were crystal clear creek waters flowing. Very green and nice! When you get to Camino Cielo, go left up the little mountain if you want to get to the highest point you can. At the top was a nice, grassy area with some breeze - great place to rest and watch/listen to the gunfire at the shooting range below (ok, some sarcasm here).
This trail can be accessed though the front country via Jesusita Trail. Once branching off Jesusita to NW you will cross a private road that leads up a steep winding asphalt road past a stable and a residence. (Please stay on trail and don't take shortcut through fireroad-like I did) You will rejoin fireroad/ utility road and there is a very steep climb that offers beauiful views of Santa Barbara city, ocean, San Roque Canyon. and Cathedral Peak to the left.
The turning point (destination) for most is Autograph Rock where many have carved there name in the soft sandstone. This is a very old trail once used by Chumash to reach Santa Ynez River. Climb continues until you dive back down to San Antonio River bed, and then accend to Camino Cielo Rd. Here you have view of ocean as well as a view of San Rafael Mountain Range.
That's where Arroyo Burro Trail continues down to Paradise Canyon and Red Rock campgroudns. It begins on other side of Camino Cielo Rd. 100 yds after passing shooting range on a unmarked trail that merges off to the LEFT. Make sure to take trail and not the utility road into canyon.
At this poing
This hike on the Southern face on mountain range is one of the less traveled trails in Santa Barbara. Portion of trail after Autograph Rock is for a moderatly experienced hiker who hopefully has a hiking companion.
Hike to Autograph Rock is highpoint of Southern Face.