Rattlesnake Canyon Trail to Tunnel Trail

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Rattlesnake Canyon Park

Rattlesnake Canyon Trail to Tunnel Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,526 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

views

Steady trail, straight up! It was great. All the rocks along the trail are fun to maneuver and it’s a great workout. There are a couple, one in particular, really good views. All the mountains were lush and the water was flowing in the. Grinning of the trail. It’s pretty serene. The steadiness of the trail made the elevation gain about as bearable as it could be. There weren’t a bunch of ups and downs. For the area, it’s a solid 5 stars.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Pretty easy hike, no snakes that I could find.

RATTLESNAKES. Be very careful with off leash dogs.

This trail was fantastic. I clocked in at 8.6 miles including my walk to and from my parking spot. I loved the variety of the terrain here. Some of it is shady, boulder-filled, and passing alongside a creek. Other parts were sun-smashed, exposed, and drier. There were some evergreen trees, regular trees, and plenty of scrubby plants. But generally it felt less dry than I anticipated! The grade was very manageable—only a small stretch on a drier, dustier, exposed part of the trail that I had to be more cautious of my footing to not slip. And the views? Phenomenal. Great overlooks all throughout, where you’ll see other peaks, Santa Barbara, the ocean, and the Channel Islands in the distance. This trail also links with a bunch of other trails. So you could get creative and continue the journey in some other directions if you wanted. Highly recommend it!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome trail. Creek is still running, birds are out...can't say enough good things!

Beautiful views all around. It was pretty strenuous. I’ll definitely be hiking here again.

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

This trail is very buggy in the beginning, ESPECIALLY closest to the water. And the end of the hike has relentless sun, so you get all sorts of different miserable hiking conditions all in one lovely trail. Luckily for Rattlesnake, it makes up for all of that with its phenomenal scenery. When you're not winding through a forested area following a creek, you can typically look around for a wonderful view of Santa Barbara and the pacific.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail. It’s rated as hard but nothing about it is too technical, so I’m guessing the rating is because of the elevation gain. The trail itself is not challenging though. It’s well maintained and easy to find almost the entire way. The lower half in rattlesnake canyon is beautiful, shaded, and green right now, with the creek flowing. The connector over to Tunnel trail has a nice canyon view but is mostly chaparral shrubs so you’re in the sun this entire section. Tunnel trail is varied all the way to E Camino Cielo, but mostly sunny, with amazing ocean view. I definitely recommend doing this hike now, where the rain has kept the dust down, the temps are cooler, and not a rattlesnake to be found. ;-) I took my pups with me, and had to pack a lot of water up the trail because there’s no creek after you leave rattlesnake canyon.

Good hike to Gibraltar Road and back.

hiking
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Muy bonito para pasar un rato de caminata

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

This is a pretty spectacular loop for an experienced hiker. Varied terrain, amazing views (if not clouded over), waterfalls, scrambling, pools to soak in, and a great workout. Only downside is the ~2.8 mile walk down Gibraltar road, but to avoid this just do an out-and-back rather than a loop. In detail, the route is: start at Rattlesnake trail head, go up Rattlesnake (stay left) for 1 mile then take trail uphill to pylons service road and up over Mission Crags to Tunnel trail. Hike up Tunnel to Camino Cielo (from here optional add-ons to La Cumbre peak or down Gibraltar trail towards Gibraltar Dam). Walk right down Camino Cielo, turn right into Gibraltar road and keep going, through Flores Flats, until you get to the turnoff on the right to get back down to Rattlesnake (2.8mi on the road in all). Head down Rattlesnake to the bottom.

Thu Sep 13 2018

Granted we went on a very hot day, the work was not worth the payoff. Not much in regards to views. We went last weekend (September), absolutely no water in the creek. Everything was just dry and hot. Definitely a climb.

hiking
Thu Aug 30 2018

A truly beautiful gem of a hike. It's so nice to be near running water and greenery during the dry summer months.

Sun Jun 17 2018

Like this trail . Wanna say it’s 8,7 miles not 7,7. It took me 4:20 hr. I would recommend to use right shoes . Because some places so bold and easy to slide specially when you go back . I would consider it like a hard trail level 1:) not super hard. all 8,7 ml are different . Can be flat , rocks , uphill 45%. ... not birthing .

Sun Jun 10 2018

Nice warm up to the meadow then the next 3 miles is 1800 elevation gain up to Camino Cielo. 4.5 hours up and back.

Fri Dec 29 2017

Nice friendly trail and a good steady moderate grade. I’d do it again, in fact, we did it yesterday.

hiking
Fri Feb 24 2017

Challanging

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

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