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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Decent climb and good trail to bring your dog. Beautiful view of all Santa Barbara at the top. Stay left at the fork. Parking can be variable, but there are several spots along the road if your willing to walk to road to the trail head.

The Cold Spring trailhead on East Mountain Dr. is closed. Not sure how people are hiking this, unless they accessed the trail from another point?

One of my favorite hikes in Santa Barbara. Great views all throughout.
Moderate hike

this trail needs some love. very loose surface. 500ft from the top there are 2 slides that are 10-15ft across and extremely dangerous to pass. we turned back. not safe.

The trail is closed! Super disappointed I was not aware of this before I made my trek over there.

Nice hike with beautiful views

Beautiful trail! Harder than I had thought: better to bring plenty of water and a hat (shade is rare privilege over here). But you do get a wonderful view of the ocean once you reach the top!
Did it in four hours and I took my time.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy trail with gorgeous views

hiking
1 month ago

This was harder then I expected. It’s really uphill and pretty bumpy/rocky. Some beautiful views along the way. It’s 2.8 miles to the top. Would recommend when it’s not too hot out or cloudy day because there’s no shade.

hiking
1 month ago

On an overcast weekend morning, starting out at 9:15am, it was not crowded on the trail though parking was pretty full. A beautiful hike even with some clouds. The trail forks about halfway up. Stay to the left.

Trail is open.

hiking
1 month ago

Some nice views of the other side of Santa Cruz island but not as amazing as we expected from a national park.

Nice views but trail definitely needs work- very hard to follow at times. We found ourselves sliding on dirt and having to whack through bushes.

Excelente ruta para dejar el estrés

Worth the winding ascent to be flanked by the Pacific Ocean to the West and Lake Cachuma to the east. Saw many native lizard species and some insect species also. The switchbacks have some loose sand as it is currently quite dry in the area, but otherwise a very straightforward hike and I would say more "Moderate" than Hard. We were completely alone with only Mother Nature for company. Lovely! Highly recommend (but bring bug spray)

Did this hike last year, attempted today but the trail is closed. You might be able to push through but from what I saw it isn’t worth it. Hopefully the trail will be open by the end of the year.
Again as of today, the trail is marked as “closed” when you get there and the road is closed on your way there as well.

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
2 months ago

Would love to finish this hike!

hiking
3 months 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

3 months 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.

3 months ago

Amazing place. Easy.

3 months ago

Great trail.Amazing view.

3 months 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
3 months 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.

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