Explore Santa Barbara - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Good hike. The end of the trail was pretty steep and had a rope to help you get down. Not much of a view at the end, and there was no waterfall when I went in August.

It's the same starting point as a few other hikes, and a great one! I did this hike in mid August. It was really hot but doable and short. The view at the top was worth it. I also wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be.

El Capitan is a large campground but the most of the camp sites are well spaced a part. This is more of a walk along a paved bike path rathern than a hike. Great ocean views along the ocean bluff. Part of the paved path is closed but you can bypass by going down to the beach. Best if you go during low tide as there isn't a lot of beach to walk on at high tide.

hiking
5 days ago

Would love to finish this hike!

hiking
7 days ago

If you want a real hike to the top, take the Trespass Trail to the Peak and come down this fire road. The Trespass Trail goes to the right at the junction. If you love hiking the Trespass Trail to Gaviota Peak is by far one of the best hikes i have completed this year. It is not overly strenuous for the average hike although the last half mile to the peak is certainly grueling. I'm not sure how many times I asked myself we must be there, right? But the trail is very enjoyable, lots of true hiking experiences, many different things to see - fields, oak trees, rock formations, the ocean, other peaks, etc. It is not boring at all. The Wind Caves were a nice break in the climb up, and I highly recommend the detour to the Tunnel Overlook. It reconnects with the trail to the top and provides some great views. We took the fire road down which was fine, as we saw the sunset at the top so it was dark. I would think that the fire road up is arduous, great exercise, but by no means a true hike. Going down it was non-stop descent, so the reverse would be true. We did not visit the hot springs as it was dark.

on Tunnel Trail

8 days ago

Views are great along the trail. it's a hard trail that is mostly open with no shade. you must take lots of water if you plan to finish the whole main trail. also, hiking shoes would help as it's easy to slide with running shoes.

Rocky terrain with never-ending western sea gulls, pelicans, and another bird species everywhere. There are spots to take amazing photos though! Kayaking, snorkeling, and camping is allowed.

I hiked the shortcut up and it is hard and steep
Got off the trail twice
Fortunately All Trail got me back on course
1.5 miles up about an hour non stop

Down was very moderate to easy
4 miles an I mostly did a trail run down
About an hour fifteen down

No snakes
Very buggy on the way up

This was my second time hiking this trail. From the road and going in the main entrance you can take a left and take the short route following the creek or you can go right to do the Oceanview, I took this route. About 4 1/2 miles in I missed the shortcut route coming down and ended up doing 6 miles almost to the top. Thank goodness I ran into other hikers thar shared I had passed the shortcut path but followed them down. Steep and a bit challenging since the mudslides and gets a little confusing with the new markers. Did 7 miles in 2:45hr. Great hike highly recommend it! Just be sure to pay attention to the shortcut if you’re looking for it!

Walked up the firebreak road to the peak, and turned and walked same way back to parking lot. 6 miles total and about 2. 4K elevation change going up. If you hike during summer leave early as it warms up quick with lack of tree cover further up the trail.

23 days ago

Amazing place. Easy.

26 days ago

Great trail.Amazing view.

29 days ago

I like it. Would not consider it as a hard trail . The best time to be there early morning 7-8 am . You can see how clouds move from mountains to the ocean . Gorgeous! Also , you can see Chanel islands

hiking
1 month ago

Details: There are actually two different starting points for this trail. The one mentioned here is off Spyglass road (3 miles RT), but the other one is off Foothill Road (about 7 miles RT). This review is based off the shorter version from Spyglass Road.

Pros:
- Great views
- The first half is mostly flat
- Dogs allowed

Cons
- My biggest complaint, regardless of where you start, is that there is no sign or indication to let you know you've reached the finish line. You just have to assume because of the view and the path everyone else is taking.
- At least half of the trail doesn't have shade
- It is very crowded, but the longer version is less crowded. Even when I left today around 8pm, all the parking spots were still full.
- Not enough parking.
- Not well marked. I got turned around more than once because there were a couple forks with no clear indication of which way to go.

Great loop! New growth there is nice to see!

hiking
1 month ago

I’m a beginner hiker and this trail was perfect for a first hike!

Beautiful views, nice easy afternoon hike.

Good hike with some steep sections, and incredible views from the peak. As you get higher, the trail is more exposed, so bring enough water. There is a smaller path turnoff to the right, just before you drop down on the fire road about 1/2mile from the parking lot, where there are two hot spring pools. Fair amount of poison oak along that stretch, but very cool to see the springs.

It’s a good hike my daughter is 10 and she has done this hike 3 times now.

A group of four of us got a campsite and stayed on the island over-night. The boat ride in was phenomenal, make sure to get your tickets early and follow their strict guidelines (water and gas to be boarded separately). The boat ride takes an hour with tons of scenery. The island is like something prehistoric. You dock in a cove teeming with life. You'll have to walk up about five or six flights of steep stairs, overall it's a half mile to the campsites so you can bring a small cooler. There is no fresh water on the island, so expect to carry. We had about six gallons total for an overnight so that we had plenty to cook and clean with. There were, and this is no exagerrtion, seagulls everywhere. As well as their baby chicks. They were highly aggressive, swooping in and dive bombing you. You also had to keep eyes on the trail for sleeping chicks. But mostly, they're a nuisance but not violent (kind of like what I'm sure they thought of us). The campsites are incredibly small, with the exception of two. 6 and 7 can barely fit four people, so I recommend getting your own per couple, and they are first come first serve. A downside is the campsites being so close, a party of around twelve were able to, essentially, glamp as they could bring all of their "equipment" with them. They somewhat ruined the isolationist feeling by staying up til midnight, drinking, and playing music from a speaker. I recommend ear plugs to sleep with due to the gulls, who will stay loud through the night. But the views are absolutely stunning. It is a wild and savage experience that feels like you're part of a documentary crew for Planet Earth, or something. Once the boat leaves, taking the day hikers with it, you are essentially alone. You can swim, although the water is brisk and frigid, but the snorkeling is intensely raw and amazing. The only place, the cove from which you docked, has a kelp forest teeming with life. Just be on the lookout, there were all types of fish, but as we were leaving a sting ray swooped into the cove. Just be aware. There are sharks around the island, but they're not known to venture inside, however you will see your share of sea lions. This was one of our favorite parts of the trek. You can bring kayaks, something which I wish we would have done, as there are even better places to observe sea life on the southern tip. The boat comes back the next day around 11 am, and doesn't leave (with you) until 3:45, so bring enough food for two days. I do not recommend doing this trip for more than one day, unless you have some extensive sea-activities planned. Overall, a wild experience that was very immersive that I will not soon forget.

hiking
2 months ago

A great trial that unfortunately everyone knows about. Not great for hot days due to lack of shade though. Always high foot traffic, and parking is usually frustrating; pay attention to parking signs because cars Will be Towed!... It ends with a stunning view that everyone should experience at least once if they are local, and my dog loves this trail as much as me and everyone else.

This is my go-to hike in Santa Barbara. It is the right blend of difficult and beautiful. Doing trail runs on this hike is a huge part of my plan to get in better shape.

on Tequepis Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Trail is OPEN as of 06.06.2018.

Nothing technical or difficult but gets hot with very limited shade for the majority of the hike. Nice views from the top.

Trail is open, checked it out yesterday and spotted a bear as an FYI. According to another hiker it is a mother who also has a cub

Amazing! I was so sore the next day!!

moderate hike if going up fire road and down trespass. much harder if you go the reverse way.

Trail is open, but looks very different. Jeep road is good but following the creek is a new landscape post debris flow.

on Gaviota Peak Trail

3 months ago

wonderful mother's day hike!

Fun trail and nice views. If you hike all the way to the burn area on the other side of cachuma near the closed campground then it's almost 12 miles round trip.

Nice trail, but overrun with poison oak almost the entire way. Shaded, which is nice in the heat, but unfortunately there is almost no view of any mountains, landscape, etc because the entire hike follows a creek down between two large mountains. Only saw two other people the whole way so it was quite peaceful. The only animals I saw were birds. The lower part of the trail, near the Davy Brown Campground, is very lush and green. A bit late for wildflowers seemed like (late April) but still lots of tall green grass. The drive up Fig Mountain to the actual trail head is stunning, a windy, one lane road, with lush green meadows and oak trees the entire way. (PS) Don't park your car in the loose gravel at the trail head, stay as close to the metal fence as you can. It can and will get stuck.

Hike is definitely advanced as far as fitness is concerned. Lots of loose footing on the way down, steep, and uphill the whole way back. (I'm not kidding. I trail run several miles everyday and I found this difficult) I used Strava to track myself: 2,244 feet of climbing, took me just under 3 hours to make it down to the Campground and back up to my car.

If you start from the Figueroa Mountain Road trail head (which the app gives great directions to) the trail goes through a grassy meadow and then down into a ravine. When you reach a river crossing, the trail forks into three. Be sure to stay AWAY from the left trail, this is Willow Pond trail, which I took by accident on the way down and it is nearly impassable. I am covered in ticks. Keep to the center trail at the fork to stay on the Davy Brown Trail. Not sure where the right trail goes. Once you take the center trail, you will almost immediately come to another crossing, this time again, KEEP RIGHT. Don't go up the left trail, this is Willow Pond. Keep right and follow Davy Brown Trail downhill. (SEE PHOTO WITH GREEN ARROW) On the way back up, remember these crossings. Take pictures if it helps. Can get confusing. Stay away from Willow Pond Trail it is overgrown and infested with ticks.

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