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

Santa Barbra-CALI Map
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hiking
5 days ago

It was my first time hiking in the Santa Barbara area and I really liked this hike. I think it could have been a 5 star hike if I had hiked it on a clear day.

Parking- we easily found parking along the side of the road on the right side near the trailhead...which is on the left side of the road

Trail- the sign at the start states that the trail is 4.2 miles with 641 ft of elevation gain...not sure what that is based on, but if you are like me and wish to take this trail to Inspiration Point and back it was 7.1 miles for me with an elevation gain of 1,600 ft...so quite a bit of difference there; the trail is easy to follow and the first 1.5 goes north and sticks close to the creek and the water was running with some recent rain; the trail then leaves the trees and heads in a NE direction through a more open sort of grassland area and you will cross a road and some private property nearby and then the incline kicks in for the final mile or so with some switchbacks up to Inspiration Point...which I didn't see any signs but I had my app to verify we had made it there and there were some other hikers there already but sadly there was no view to enjoy since it was an extremely overcast and foggy morning (4/2/18) and visibility was maybe 200 yards so there was no view of the ocean or island sadly; the hike was green, with the sound of running water for most of the time, and great views of the mountains to the northeast...I just wished we could have seen the ocean...FYI dogs are allowed on this trail off leash which doesn't bother me but might bother some

*the second half of the hike we really worked up a sweat not only because it was steeper but it was very humid and there was a light mist/drizzle

Of course bring plenty of water and hiking shoes or shoes with good traction, trekking poles are not needed for this hike. Plan on this hike taking about 3-4 hours. I would rate this as moderately difficult.

hiking
16 days ago

I went on a very misty/foggy day so the views at the top of Inspiration point weren't that great, but the journey there and back made up for it! Lots of ravines, boulders, wooded streams, and then the winding turns making your way up the mountain made for a great walk. The last mile or two have very little shade so bring sun protection and plenty of water.

We hiked this today! Awesome views. Didn’t see a soul out there. Looks like a lot of people bike this trail. Costs $10 to get into lake recreation area.

hiking
20 days ago

This is a great hike if you're looking for a moderately difficult hike, nothing fancy. Parts of it are challenging enough to make you sweat, it's easy to follow, and there's a rewarding view at the top. We hiked it midday on a Friday and the trail wasn't too busy. It's very well marked. The creeks were flowing and the foliage was lush, but this is early April so I expect it will be dry as a bone later in the summer. Speaking of foliage, there's a ton of poison oak so keep an eye out if you have little ones. My 4 little guys (ages 4-9) hiked it no problem, tho we had to constantly remind them to avoid the poison oak. Parking was really easy too, just along the road opposite the filtration plant. I'd recommend starting early and packing plenty of water.

definitely on the easier side of moderate

Great views. Too many people and unleashed dogs for my liking though.

hiking
24 days ago

I’ve loved this trail for years. It is enough of a challenge to make you feel like you accomplished something. I love the pace of it and the carried terrain. If it has rained you might find some mud, but the creek will be flowing and provide amazing acoustics for your hike. I love to do this with friends and even the preteens like this one! Highly recommend, and start at the water treatment if you want to cut it to 6.6 miles and about 1500’ of elevation.

hiking
27 days ago

Very beautiful view! Easy to walk to.

hiking
1 month ago

kool hike friendly vibe easy access to parking✌

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice short afternoon hike with spectacular Views over Santa Barbara

walking
1 month ago

As a park, this place is fantastic. There are a lot of sitting areas, picnic benches, trash cans, bathrooms and free parking on both ends of the park, and the lovely ocean views of course. The steps down to the beach are towards the middle of the park. There is a small playground, and a free ocean view finder! The tide pools here are really beautiful and worth the visit.

As a hiking trail, this completely paved walk through the park is ideal for those with wheels (wheelchairs, walkers, knee scooters, etc). If one includes the beach access, you literally can walk/jog for miles.

If you go to UCSB or work there, this is a great trail. If you love bird watching, you'll dig the lagoon. This mixed use trail is pieced together with sections of single track, bike path, hardpack, and maintained crushed granite walkways. There are interpretive signs around the lagoon educating about birds, plant life, restoration, whale migration, and more. If you are from out of town looking for a place to explore, I wouldn't recommend this hike over some others, with one exception: the Lagoon Island Labyrinth. This labyrinth is the largest I've personally seen (out of several), and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Overall, a nice morning walk, with plenty of parking at Goleta State Beach.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great long hike. Especially nice that dogs can be off leash. Winds through nice forest and cool scenery before making it to the top of inspiration point. Parking access is definitely easier than the inspiration point hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views of Santa Barbara

Beautiful trail and views!

hiking
2 months ago

Very convenient place to hike if you’re visiting Santa Barbara and live in the area but don’t want to venture up to San Rafael Wildnerness or Lake Cachuma.

I originally planned on hiking the Gaviota Peak Trail but two cars were broken into when I got to the parking lot. Hide your valuables. I wasn’t let down when I decided to do Sweetwater Trail. I also did Vista Point and all the side trails. Sunset was incredible. This hike exceeded my expectations.

hiking
3 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Santa Barbara. The pools and the water in the creek is not reliable, however I always really enjoy a good creek bed hike. The trail is narrow and there is lots of climbing over rocks but not challenging for an athlete and a super fun ascent. Be forewarned to get down to the pools your choices are to hop the rocks in the creek bed or to take the trail along the creek bed and use a rope to sort of wrap hell yourself down and incredibly dirt steep hill. All in good fun.

hiking
4 months ago

it is a good trail but not recomended for little kids cause there are dengerous clifs.

hiking
4 months ago

Very simple hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Such an amazing view at the end of the hike!

Is not much of a hike. However, the views are beautiful, worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Highly recommended!

hiking
4 months ago

Lovely hike with varied terrain to Inspiration Point which lives up to it’s name. We saw 4 Channel Islands. Good signage at junctions to avoid wrong turns. If you drive a sedan to the filtration plant lot, be sure to park on the right side. The left side has a high curb and will scrape the bottom of your car. SUV’s do great.

This trail is ok, nothing to exciting. Also I don't know if I would rate it "moderate" it seems to be more comparable to other "easy" trails. There are a couple of short hills but not that steep, the rest is relatively flat. There are a couple of views of the lake, but not as many as you would expect. To re-iterate another hikers comment: Free parking if you start at vista point.

Nice views. Good family time

Went on this gorgeous hike at sunset. The views were beautiful. However, on the hike up, we came across some locals and asked if we were heading the right way to the hot springs. To which they chuckled and told us “I’m laughing because they don’t really exist anymore.” He gave us directions and we saw literally a completely dry circle surrounded by rocks. Even in November. Beautiful hike. But no hot springs. The city seems to be taking water from the spring now :/

Pretty good. As advertised.

hiking
5 months ago

Short hike with beautiful views!!! Highly recommended you can also do trail run or bike

Great view! Took us about 2hrs round trip. Going up was a tad difficult if you're an average hiker, but great workout!

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