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Montecito Peak Trail [CLOSED] is a 7.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 7.6 mi Elevation gain 2,444 ft Route type Loop
Dog friendly Hiking Running Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Closed
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. NOTE: The road to this trail is currently closed 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.

Parking is allowed along the shoulders of the road on both sides of the creek.

From Highway 101 in Montecito, take the Olive Mill Road exit. Drive north on Olive Mill Road and in about a 1/2 mile it will turn into Hot Springs Road. Continue to go north on Hot Springs Road for another 1.3 miles and turn left on East Mountain Road. Drive 1 mile to the trailhead on the right just before the road crosses the creek.

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Reviews (208)
Photos (476)
Recordings (199)
Completed (384)
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Jayde Wofford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 22, 2020
Bike touring

Great trail, very hard steep uphill all the way to the top. If you want to go that last .2 miles to the very top, it’s the steepest section and not much of a trail... just very loose squirrelly gravel. Go early!

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Jenny Rivas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 22, 2020
Hiking
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Roman Stahl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking

Road is now open! Final stretch to the peak is pretty steep

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Lance Klopp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Great hike up above Santa Barbara. Not much shade so bring lots of water. Great views all along the way.

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L J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Remember this one being longer than it was advertised! For me that’s ok, I don’t mind but others may struggle with the added distance. It’s also probably a hard rating. View is definitely worth it though

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Womack M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

This was a difficult trail. Not moderate. The loop is longer, it is actually 9.2 miles. Well worth it

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Eli Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Fun hike, but hot and not super easy.

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Mersy Maradiaga
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

This was not a 6 mile hike. More like 8 miles. Going up felt a bit rough due to a The heat but so worth the views. Watch out for lots of off trails.

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Sarah Randolph
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 9, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky
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Jan Ine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRocky
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Ryan Hull
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingBugsNo shade
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John Fogel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
Hiking

6/26. Awesome trail. The peak was inundated with the gnats folks speak of. We couldn’t hang out on top, it was so bad. They were sticking to us because of the sweat and sunscreen. Literally only on the peak, the gnats that is. Bees and horseflies on a good part of it also. But absolutely worth doing!

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Sylvia Carreno
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
HikingRocky
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Veronica Perez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 24, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeRockyScramble

This trail is a great elevation hike, the beginning of the trail is some what shady but 90% of it is exposed. Lots of wild flowers blooming now it is May so watch out for bees. I would recommend bug repellent, there is lots of gnats that will try to hang out with you the whole way which well bugs. There is lots of loose gravel & rocks, this is a very rocky trail so hiking boots are highly recommended. The last 200 meters as you are going up to the actual montecito peak is the most difficult section of the trail, lots of loose dirt & sliding gravel be careful with your footing. Following the gps map from AllTrails is the best way to stay on path! May 24, 2020 enjoy!

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Rob Warner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 23, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Don't worry about road closure. Road and parking available pretty much right up to the trail head. Beautiful hike! Start early and hopefully you'll get cloud cover because there's not a lot of shade throughout. Last bit is the hardest but the peak is worth it!

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