Arroyo Burro Trail is a 9.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 9.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,612 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

partially paved

views

blowdown

bugs

over grown

rocky

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
17 days ago

Great variety of terrain and overall awesome hike. Comes out to closer to 11 miles if you do the whole thing to Camino Cielo so be sure to bring enough water and maybe a snack. Enjoy!

hiking
private property
rocky
21 days ago

Hiked this one at dusk. I began my ascent around 6:00PM, not really sure. Finished about one hour after sunset. DIFFICULT, not for beginners or those without a plan and limited nourishment, BRING water and food. Good running for peak-baggers. Otherwise not ideal for trail-running per se. Diverse trail indeed. The landscape changes halfway up, which is a pleasant surprise. If you're concerned about the sunshine, be prepared to find shade after traversing across the mountainside. The soil can be very loose, especially in steep sections, on descents. Wear proper footwear. There IS a summit. However, you must blaze your own path beyond East Camino Cielo, to the West towards Goleta. Otherwise, you will end at the Glass Factory. The ascent is very demanding, so E. Camino Cielo is a welcomed finish. However, you can go further if your desire for a view is strong enough. Some guy warned of bear tracks but who the hell is afraid of a Black Bears anyway? Overall, I give it my stamp of approval. I enjoyed it. It is not the best trail but it is enjoyable and demanding. I noticed on the descent, if you gaze upwards in the shaded canyon, that there's Private Property signs. What's up with that??!! Probably won't hike it again. I'm tired of SB hikes. They're only pretty for 1-3 months during good Springs. otherwise too sunny, too dry, and not very rewarding. Think I'll go back the the White Mountains this Summer. Maybe Bar Harbor, ME

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail. My first time trying it and it took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to the top. First half of the trail had some great views and the trail seems to get a lot of traffic since it was clear where the trail was going. The second half of the trail was difficult in pretty much all aspects. Steeper, more rocks, and I wasn’t always sure which way the trail went but by following the bike markings it was pretty straight forward, just took some extra looking. I saw bear tracks about 3 1/2 miles in which was awesome (and scary) but it was an amazing time. Didn’t get a great view from the top since there was a lot of clouds but just making it was a reward in itself. I recommend doing this trail with a partner/group the first time you do it and make sure you pack a snack. Will do it again soon :D

hiking
1 month ago

Much longer than stated, closer to 11 miles if you start at Jesusita and go all the way to Camino Cielo. Going up the road after the fork was strange and hot but short in comparison to the reward for the rest of the hike. Beautiful after a rain with a lot of running water. Some areas were even deep enough for a dip in the pools. Diverse scenery. Physically demanding at times. The ‘peak’ is slightly anti climatic as you hit Camino, however the diverse views and landscapes throughout the majority of the hike are wonderful and fulfilling. Bounced between full sun exposure and being well shaded. Less traveled and less crowded. Awesome hike, will do again!

hiking
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

After going on the much more popular Jesusista trail yet again, I decided to try out the other trail that branches off, and I’m glad I did! The Arroyo Burro trail is absolutely breathtaking with its mountainside paths high up overlooking the whole SB coast. The trail then descends into a canyon filled with gorgeous central coast nature. After multiple creek crossings, the trail rises along the side of the canyon for the final (and most challenging) part of the trail. The steep path and loose, gravel/sand was quite difficult to traverse, and the erosion from rain and mountain bikes made it even harder. Unfortunately I wouldn’t say that the view from the top is worth it either, but if you’re like me, the satisfaction of making it up to el Camino Cielo more than made up for it. I was shocked by how beautiful and diverse this trail is and how underrated it is. If you turn around before the last part of the trail, I would say it’s a slightly harder but much more beautiful hike than the Jesusista trail.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

The trail was very clear all the way up to Camino Cielo. Clear enough for wearing shorts. Ceanothus was blooming; some of the upper slopes were covered in blooming white ceanothus. Blue ceanothus, milk maids, wild cucumber, poppies, lupine, canyon sunflowers were in bloom along the trail. Butterflies abounded, thrashers and scrub jays. At the top, we sat in the grass under a pine tree and watched paragliders soaring about. A challenging hike, the Health app registered it as a 13-mile hike from Jesusita trailhead to Camino Cielo and back, with 3,000' net elevation gain. Easy to believe the gross elevation gain could be 4,000' with the midway dip down into Barger Canyon, where the trail crosses San Antonio Creek three times in a lovely riparian area where we passed a swimming hole. Some of the creek watershed burned in the Cave fire, there was new growth in the burn area and burnt trees. Just above the highest creek crossing, we saw bear poo that looked fairly recent. We saw mountain lion tracks at the top of the trail; the tracks looked 2-3 days old (dried since the latest rain).

running
blowdown
over grown
6 months ago

The trail could use some trimming and there are a few trees down, I biked from Stevens park to Rock 420... There was no problem with trail finding. I didn't see anyone, it was great! There is a Strava run segment for this trail.

running
over grown
11 months ago

Tried running Arroyo Burro today and had to turn around because it was so overgrown. I pushed up as far as I could but it started getting ridiculous so I turned around. Would be a beautiful trail if it was maintained but it doesn't look like it's been trimmed back for years.

hiking
Fri May 17 2019

We actually walked the Arroyo Burro Road from Rancho Oso (down on the river) up to E Camino Cielo. Only saw one other person, but lots of bear tracks! Pretty views. Decent training hike.

hiking
over grown
rocky
Sat May 11 2019

hiking
over grown
private property
rocky
Wed Mar 20 2019

The first half of this trail consisted of hiking on paved roads that bordered private property, along with little trammeled, overgrown paths. And then the fun began. As with many of the Santa Barbara front country trails, you gain altitude quickly. You are treated with views of rolling avocado orchards, jagged mountain peaks, the northern Channel Islands, and the great Pacific Ocean. For wildlife I spotted a road runner, a baby rattlesnake, soaring turkey vultures, red tailed hawks, and many migratory birds. Being that it was a cool, overcast March day I had plenty of water for this hike. This was my first time that I have hiked this trail and I definitely plan to explore it again.

hiking
Sun Apr 22 2018

I started from Stevens park and the trail takes you all the way to the shooting range..it was a loooooong and grueling walk I wouldn’t recommend this trail for somebody that is going by themselves (like what I did) the first hour was fine then you start having to go uphill for the next hour or so and in some parts the trail cuts off into actually wooded areas where it feels like you are going off the trail but it is the actual trail...it feels like the trail just goes on and on then you get to a point where the trail is blocked by a bunch of bushes where you have to crawl through the bush to get past it...and from that point it took me about an hour to reach the shooting range...overall it took me about 4 hours to get through it but that’s because the trail side tracked me where I had to retrace my steps...but if everything would of went smoothly the hike would take about 3 1/2 hours to complete...my phone died when I was trying to record my journey through this trail but it captured most of it...I definitely recommend this to a group that’s avid hikers this is definitely an expert trail and DO NOT GO ALONE!!!!!

Sun Nov 05 2017

Like walking on pavement?

hiking
Wed Jul 05 2017

Was really excited to do this trail one afternoon after work! It was gorgeous and beautiful until we got maybe 1.5mi in! :( The trial, which is one of the oldest in the area, is so overgrown! We went as far as we could without sacrificing blood. We returned to the trial head and did some of Jesusita. This is why I rated 3 stars

hiking
Fri May 05 2017

Would probably be a nice hike but once you deviate from the Jesusita trail and get past the paved part, it's way too overgrown right now, I did about 3 miles and turned back.

Sun Aug 02 2015

Steady and steep until last 1/3, then not well traveled and a lot of brush to deal with. Not well marked at the end.

hiking
Sun Apr 07 2013

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).

hiking
Thu Nov 29 2012

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.

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

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