Montecito Peak Hike Trail

MODERATE 41 reviews
#5 of 125 trails in

Montecito Peak Hike Trail is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2795 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

trail running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

This is a physically demanding and rocky hike with lots of loose dirt. There are three trailheads at this location. The one you want has a wooden sign with Cold Springs Trail and the letters MTF (Montecito Trails Foundation) on it. It is just before the road crosses the creek. From the road, the trail starts climbing immediately. Stay to the right on the beginning of the trail. Continue straight when you come to the West Fork trail on the left. Just past this junction there is a bench on the left. The trail continues a steady climb with two creek crossings. After the second creek crossing stay to the right, there are two other trails to the left, don't go on those. There are numerous switchbacks, take those but be careful because the trail goes straight and there is a switchback to the left. Take the switchback to the left, again stay on the wider part of trail at any junction. At 1.6 miles you will see the Edison access dirt road. Go left and cross under the power lines till you see a single track trail heading up the hill on your left. Once you cross under the power lines, take that trail. This rocky and sometimes steep trail passes the tree with a makeshift bench with great views. From the tree, the trail heads toward Montecito Peak and then passes to the west. When you are almost past the peak at 3.6 miles, look on the right for an unmarked narrow trail. The trail is narrow, steep and in shale, but the climb up to the 3,214 foot summit is well worth it. The summit is at 4 miles. The return route is the way you came.

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

if you do this in june during the day, bring a good half gallon of water. went up to peak then the road. Little under 1.5L water and a Monster protein drank def not enough but I figured as much once i go to the peak but wanted to go up to the road, too. Nice views past the peak up on the road. anywyas, That last push up the peak was fun and steep, almost tripped at one pointing while swatting at the myriad of flies and bees that kept kamikazing into my face and pissing me off lol. Trail was easy to follow, and I only had one accidental off trail that saved me a third of a mile on the way down but bent my raybans in my camelbak when I slipped on a narrow tangled bush and rock embackment.

Nonetheless, I'd recommend this easy in and out burger joint

hiking
1 month ago

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2 months ago

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3 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Originally wanted to head to Tangerine Falls but ended up following this trail instead. The trail for this is not well marked and we ended up hiking past the peak, but could see the trail from the lower part of the mountain. It seems the actual split has been overgrown, as there was no clear path to getting there. We ended up hiking all the way to the other trail head for cold springs. The water further up the mountain has dried up currently, once you split of from the cold springs/falls trails.

It was quite frustrating to not be able to find the correct trail, but I would like to attempt it again.

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful wildflowers and the creek is rushing now - it was a great way to spend the Spring Equinox 2017! The trail is confusing and not well marked. I'm unclear about the trail description as well. The miles and elevation gains given above don't reflect the same numbers in the summary and the fuller trail description. Is the summit at 3 miles or 4?

5 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of unmarked trail intersections, but as long as you keep going up, they mostly lead to the same place.

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

7 months ago