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San Ysidro Trail is a 8.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Santa Barbara, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 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: 8.3 miles Elevation Gain: 3,021 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

over grown

washed out

no shade

Please note that this trail was damaged during a mudslide. The Los Padres National Forest says the trail is currently open. There have been reports that is it not accessible from the trailhead on E Mountain Drive. The trail should be accessible from E Camino Cielo. Please check in with the Los Padres National Forest for the most up-to-date information. San Ysidro follows the course of the San Ysidro Creek along West Park Lane (private road, no public parking), then along the Edison Catway, and finally along trail. Of the local trails, it offers the greatest amount of shade for this climb. The rocky canyon walls are popular with local climbers. Deep pools become popular summer destinations while the waterfall, always at least a trickle, becomes popular after the winter rains.

hiking
no shade
3 days ago

Great trail, around nine miles so slightly further than the given 8.3. The first half as others have said is next to the creek and is most definitely the easier half in terms of incline and shade level. The second portion has a much greater incline and is fully exposed. Overall is a hike worth doing for anyone in the area even if you don’t go to the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Obsessed with this trail! Granted I’ve done it twice and both times I stopped where the waterfall is which is half wayish. You can use the tree roots to get down to the creek and picnic by the fall. Kind of intense uphill parts so I took lots of breaks but the view of the creek makes you want to stop anyway. There are signs everywhere which make it so easy to not get lost. There’s tons of shade but also a good amount of poison oak but off to the sides, not on the path. Excited to go back and hike the whole thing!

hiking
1 month ago

Nicely marked. Easy to follow. I decided to start from the bottom and climb up because I like to get the hard part over with first. Nice steady uphill that was enough to make me calves burn but not bad enough that I would have to stop and catch my breath. Great training for more difficult hikes. The waterfall is about 2 miles in, you can’t miss it. There is a pretty large ground bee colony about 3 miles in but I just stayed calm and walked right through and none of them stung me

hiking
bugs
over grown
1 month ago

Beautiful hike! Good work out as well. Couple of spots are a little washed out but nothing too bad. I did run into a gigantic swarm of bees on one section of the trail.... literally a giant swarm, so if you’re allergic, please be careful.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

LOVE this Trail Started from East Camino Cielo, descended first, ascended last Spring was in full bloom and this trail was magnificent. I went on an overcast day and that was ideal. Otherwise, I imagine it can be toasty as Hell. Great for trail-running. Fun, long switchbacks for 2/3 of the trail. There's a waterfall 1/3 into the trail... is that Tangerine Falls??? Moderate-to-Difficult trail. Easy terrain but the length and slope of the trail is challenging.

hiking
4 months ago

The trail was clear all the way up to Camino Cielo, with just one exposed spot up high (which looks to be slated for repair, judging from materials nearby). Pretty trail, lots in bloom, well-vegetated in spite of being in the Thomas Fire burn area. Fairly steep and not much shade for most of the hike.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Almost made it to Gibraltar Road but ran out of time. Maybe next time...

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
bugs
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

The trail to the waterfall is in excellent condition (really appreciate all the work MTF and others have put in recently). However from the waterfall to Camino Cielo, it’s pretty sketchy, loose, unmaintained and unpleasant.

mountain biking
no shade
over grown
washed out
8 months ago

5 stars for beauty... 1 star for accessibility from the top. After climbing Ramero trail to Camino Cielo, followed black top back down to the trailhead of San Ysidro trail from the top. Yep. big mistake and won't do it again :) DO NOT attempt this on a bike, let alone hiking. The top 2 miles of this trail are barely passable by foot, let alone bike. I had to walk my bike down and nearly lost it down the mountain a couple times. Came back with a lot of cuts and bruises ...definitely long sleeves and long pants required. There are many portions that are washed out, with steep sections you must navigate around and very dangerous IMO. I really think this trail should be marked closed to bikers AND hikers coming from the Camino Cielo trail head. It is beautiful country , but not worth it until the trails are better maintained, which I suspect will take quite awhile. I really thought I might have to ditch the bike at some point. good luck !

mountain biking
off trail
rocky
scramble
9 months ago

Montecito/ San Ysidro/ East Beach Rocky / slippery Sand going down but fun Beach-Did okay on hard wet sand not so good in sand Recording - Oct 04, 06:25 PM

hiking
blowdown
no shade
off trail
rocky
10 months ago

I did not go beyond the 1 mike mark, at this point you have to scale a shake rock ledge with no path, I attempted two paths, however for sure I would falll down the 100 foot canyon, so try again when not alone .

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
scramble
washed out
11 months ago

Top of the trail is in serious need of maintenance. Bottom 2 miles are beautiful (Parking at E Mountain Trailhead), after that you're on your own. Very overgrown (long sleeves a must, many of the wooden retaining walls appear to have been burned by the fire and than washed out, loose footing and narrow trail on steep terrain. It's still passable (with some jumping and careful foot placement), I made it within .5 miles of the top and ran into a colony of bee's(Miner bee's maybe - dark coloring with individual nests on the ground) covering the trail. This was a flatter segment so you might be able to cut around but there obviously haven't been many people through in a while. Also note cell service is spotty at best, bee careful!!

hiking
no shade
over grown
washed out
Mon Apr 08 2019

We finished the trail in May. We started from the bottom to the top. The trail was not easy. It was wild and overgrown. There were a few broken spots that you need to be careful of, or you will slide down. Thanks to the clouds and mist, the hike was not hard, but in return, we see no views in the mist

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