Beach to Backcountry Trail is a 3.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Goleta, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
This trail connects the beach with the mountains, including under freeway access to the other side of the park and the national forest. Parking is free at the trailhead. From there, proceed north on the paved road until an obvious trail near the end. This passes through anise and climbs through mustard toward sandstone wind caves above. These are a popular destination and a multitude of trails have formed near them. It is generally easy to select the trail around the side of them and continue up. The trail passes through a saddle and climbs to the ridge, then drops down to a service road on the other side.
To continue to the national forest, turn left on this road, then right at the intersection. Turn right again near the bottom to come to the freeway. Pass below the southbound lanes by going under the bridge, then jog a little north to find a pedestrian tunnel under the northbound lanes. There is likely to be poison oak at the exit and the trail has gone on the far side. A route that works is to follow the freeway north to the first hill and make a way up it along the edge. There is an old barbed wire fence to deal with. This connects with Tunnel View trail, which is easier to follow but also gone in some places to the right. It connects with better used trails quickly to the left.
Enjoyable hike with sweeping views of the ocean in the distance. We were the only ones on the trail and the wildflowers were beautiful in late March. Best part? I found a dollar on the trail!