Rattlesnake Canyon

MODERATE 212 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Rattlesnake Canyon is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,604 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

rocky

hiking
7 days ago

We enjoyed the hike up Rattlesnake Canyon very much. We deviated from the trail at the Tunnel/Gibraltar junction near the meadow to see the big panoramic view from Gibraltar Road. Amazing to see the stream running in mid September!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
off trail
over grown
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Fabulous !!!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike, lots of in and out of the sun so great on a hot day. Lots of poison oak this weekend, so be mindful. Great diversity or trees, rocks, water and vistas. Went the Gibraltar Rd route. Loved this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Watch out for Poison Oak because it’s all over the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Went all the way to Gibraltar Road. Nice hike, early in the day before the heat. Water still flowing nicely for late July.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. However the reviews on here don’t talk about how difficult it is finding the marked paths. For the first mile the trails aren’t marked and there are many ways to get to the top. We had to ask a few hikers coming down if we were going the right way. Also, this hike is 4.4 miles, but that’s only to the meadow. If you want to go to the top of the mountain, it’s at least another 1 1/2 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this twice this week. I just finished it with a 30 lb pack, and it took 1 hour to the sign and 40 min back. Tons of amphibian and reptile activity! Just this week I've seen 7 California orange-bellied newts in the stream, a California whiptail, tons of fence lizards, and the highlight was seeing a California Kingsnake with a lizard hanging out of its mouth. We caught it with it's head in a hole and when it pulled out you could just see the feet and tail of the lizard.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

A beautiful hike that's filled with amazing boulders and it meanders up the steep canyon following a creek. There were plenty of trees for shade and the wildflowers are still blooming. The water is low but there are several nice tiny waterfalls still going. I wouldn't bother going to the end of this trail. The trail became steep, with loose gravel, and overgrown skin level prickly plants. After you get to the directional sign forking to Gibraltar or Tunnel trail connector, you've seen it all, unless you just want a harder workout. The trail ends at another trail and there's no point in the last bit of the listed hike. We didn't experience any bugs but we were hiking in the evening. It took us 2 1/2 hours. About two hours up and 30 min down.

hiking
3 months ago

went up to survey the trail. beautiful place im coming back for a leisure hike soon.

hiking
3 months ago

I did this hike as a kid growing up in SB and haven’t been back until today! It’s just as pretty as I remember, especially the flowing creek rocky crossings and cool pools and mini waterfalls. Tons of shade on the way up, and the views of SB harbor are pretty as you get up just past the meadow towards the end. Due to high heat and minimal shade, we did not finish the final 1/2 mile or so that ends at the connector Tunnel trail section. I mapped 4.48 miles there and back from the parking road, took us 2 hrs 25 min.

3 months ago

First time on this trail. Starts off under shady sycamores and a little creek. Steady climb up with still lots of spring flowers (although it is late spring)...very pretty! A lot of flying bugs..(some that bite)was the only downfall of this hike..but I would definitely do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Lots of variety. Bring bug spray and enjoy the scenery! Will definitely do again when I return to Santa Barbara.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike that has a nice mix of shade and sun. There is a small river with little waterfalls along the way. Go to the end for a good view but if you don’t want sun turn around at the meadow.

hiking
bugs
3 months ago

Gorgeous trail. Some areas are shady, others are not. It's a little more than moderate, but very doable.

4 stars for the first couple of miles, 3 stars after that. Very nice when the water is running!

3 months ago

Great workout! Definitely a lot of hiker-made trails that can get confusing and dangerous. Beautiful views!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful place with lots of shade, so green, and gorgeous creek with waterfall. Starts to get packed 9ish am. We have a dog reactive dog and we chose it because dogs have to be on leash here. For the most part other dogs encountered were leashes or owners were happy to leash them up. Only met one jack ass who gave me attitude when I asked him to leash his dog, for his own dogs safety but whatever. Must go see right now while it’s pretty and not dry.

hiking
4 months ago

My favorite hike in Santa Barbara - the trail has a great variety of terrain, plants, views and landscapes and is easy enough for a few hours to just hit the meadow and back, or make a half day of it.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike that requires a little bit of everything. The distance listed in the description is to the meadow. I mapped 5.6 miles all the way to the top of the hill and back. Nice full river.

hiking
6 months ago

The trail map in AllTrails really has you go past where most people end, which is left/west of the meadow up to the top of the hill. Best thing to do if you want to keep that moderate vibe is to only go about 500-600 feet up that way, stop for a stunning view, & then turn around. Unless you want to get up to Tunnel Trail area and keep going on that. Partly shaded and probably the best moderate hike in SB

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Fun hike with lots of running water. Most of it was pretty easy although there are constantly forks in the road but most will keep you on track. There is a fork where the signs point to Tunnel road and Gibraltar, take the left toward tunnel road to stay on the hike. Once you get to the big meadow, there is a final 650ft elevation gain over 0.7 miles. It’s pretty rough so be prepared if you decide to keep going. The hike ends at the junction of a few other trails and it’s a nice shady spot to rest with a view of the canyon. You can even see out to Gaviota a bit. Took us 2.5hrs

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome trail. You traverse along the creek and see many small waterfalls on the way up. It’s pretty crowded but the crowds thin out the longer and higher you go. If you follow the alltrails recording, once you reach the meadow the trail is a steep climb another 30-45 minutes. The end is just a connector to other trails with no views. Bring water, first aid kit, wind breaker, food, etc. look up day hike gear on YouTube/internet. It’s very worrisome how many people I saw with nothing. Be prepared, get out there and happy trails. -Verified Completed-

hiking
6 months ago

Top 5 trails in SB. It’s pretty crowded but once you head in a few miles you don’t see many people. After the meadow if you keep following the recording it gets very steep for about another 30-45 min. You end at a connector for the other trails, there is no view as a reward. Great hike, get out there. Happy trails.

hiking
7 months ago

Lots of options and fun places to explore.

recorded Rattlesnake Canyon

hiking
muddy
rocky
8 months ago

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