Cathedral Peak Trail

HARD 32 reviews
#14 of 126 trails in

Cathedral Peak Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2470 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

rocky

scramble

Well established use trail climbs from Mission Creek to La Cumbre Peak via Cathedral Peak. The scramble up along the rocky ridge includes some class 2 rock climbing. The route from the Tunnel Trailhead to the top is 4 miles that are often quite steep. The hike usually begins at Tunnel Trailhead, then follows the road up for a mile. Turn onto Jesusita (toward Inspiration Point) for a short time to the bottom of Mission Creek. Here, find the trail traveling steeply up the west side of the canyon north of Jesusita. The Three Pools portion of the 7 Falls and 3 Pools trail will break off to the right soon in the climb. The people thin out substantially after 2.5 miles at Arlington Peak. This trail can become brutally hot, even in winter, and combined with the steep aspect, requires more water than similar miles on other trails. Search and Rescue is called here too often for the underprepared.

7 days ago

Monkey climbing all the way up and down. You have to negotiate different angles on the rocks and need to be careful. Definitely gives you an upper body workout.

I’m giving it 4 stars because it’s easy to get lost and most of all as a tall guy (6’7), I was ducking through brush the whole time. Other than that it’s a great sweat and maybe the best view of Santa Barbara you’ll find.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Some of the other reviewers for this trial are confused and seem to be reviewing the incorrect trail. You cannot be "picked up" half way through, unless by helicopter. You most definitely cannot "run this trail with a small dog." To call this an easy trail is deceptive to the average hiker, and quite frankly dangerous.

That being said, this trail is a fun challenge for a hiker with moderate experience. Expect lots of bouldering and very steady uphill. The trail is not always readily visible, and many points have multiple routes (some easier than others). Bring 2 liters of water per person, minimum, and food/snack.

On the way down, be aware of an unmarked trail that links up with the 7 falls trail instead of taking you back to the inspiration point fork directly. This skips some of the bouldering on the way down and may be preferable depending on your interests, but is quite steep. If you take this route, do not attempt to follow the creek bed back to the inspiration trail fork. The creek bed is not the 7 falls trail, which runs parallel to the creek.

GPS highly recommended.

4 months ago

fun hike. I did get off-trail near the bottom and wound up in the creek/canyon. Haha fml when that happened. There were some nasty pools of water with snakes in them so i had to jump down some ledges to avoid the pools, use hand holds and climb down others, and the whole thing turned into quite an ordeal. like I said fml. I was loving it until that happened. anyways, a moderate hiker will find this trail cake. And if ur lucky a nice cool mist will blow over the saddle between arlington and cathedral for a nice afternoon cool down.

4 months ago

Very hard would make moderate and some hard trails look like a walk in the park

5 months ago

5 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Dont be fooled this is abit more than hiking, lots of bouldering as you make your way to the top. Well worth that incredible view, you will certainly not regret going all the way!

8 months ago

8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

9 months ago

9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

A wonderful and burly hike/scramble in the front country on what feels like a very sierra like ridge. If you are interested in desert rockaneering this is a great practice route. Very steep, feet and hand terrain, route finding skills required. If you want to follow a foot only trail go elsewhere. This is excellent to link up with La Cumbre connecting Arlington, Cathedral, and La Cumbre peak. I got a lift home at the summit from my girlfriend as my doctor didn't want me doing too much down hill hiking yet due to a broken ankle last spring. I guess you can go down the tunnel trail, I'm looking forward to coming back and doing that. I wore climbing approach shoes and was grateful, my hiking poles however were a total pain because you need your hands often and because you are in tight chaparral between Cathedral and La Cumbre and they get hung up on branches when strapped to the pack. My time up to La Cumbre was 3 hrs 15min , I saw a guy literally running this with his small dog, it was impressive. I'll guess he took about 3 hours to do the whole thing, maybe less.

hiking
11 months ago

There is someone in the reviews saying that this is not a difficult trail, which is a lie if you are not an avid hiker. 3-4 hours, don't bring your dog, bring 2+ liters of water and a protein bar, a hat and sunscreen are highly recommended.

All that being said, this is one of the most satisfying hikes in Santa Barbara. The view is unparalleled, the rock hoping is very fun, and the climb is exhilarating.

hiking
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016