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Rattlesnake Canyon

MODERATE 274 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
13 days ago

Really enjoyable hike! Lotta shade for most of the trail and views are still really good. Definitely doable for people of all ages as well. Highly recommend for anyone in town!

walking
rocky
18 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Santa Barbara. Fast, fun and I love the shade and all of the water and pools along the way. It’s getting a bit dry right now but still beautiful, The leaves are falling and the colors are amazing. You can make it a work out if you want and if not it’s a nice relaxing trail fantastic moderate trail to take visitors to.

hiking
1 month ago

Really beautiful trail, especially nice for dogs because of the stream and waterfalls. We saw a lot of kids in the first half and it was nice and shady in the morning. We ended up carrying on at the top (turning left) to inspiration point. The immediate mile after the top of the trail was spectacular and I actually felt it was better than inspiration point. After coming down off inspiration point, we basically walked along a very hot fire road to make a loop. This bit wasn’t as nice: not much shade and uphill. Still it was lovely being up and exploring by ourselves! My dog was happy when we rejoined rattlesnake trail and he got to jump back in the stream.

hiking
1 month ago

Still running water and plenty of shade. Only ran into a handful of people - we hiked to the meadow and back in the late afternoon. Saw a tarantula on the way back down - highlight of the hike!

hiking
1 month ago

have been hiking this trail for over 20 years and it's always different.

hiking
2 months 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
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
off trail
over grown
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Fabulous !!!

hiking
4 months 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
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 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
4 months ago

Decent hike. There are some water crossings, some cool vistas. Wish there were trail makers.

hiking
5 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
5 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
5 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
5 months ago

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

hiking
6 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.

6 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
6 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
6 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
6 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!

6 months ago

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

recorded Rattlesnake Canyon

hiking
6 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
7 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.

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