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San Ysidro Trail

HARD 112 reviews
#11 of 182 trails in

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
1 day ago

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

hiking
bugs
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

hiking
1 month 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
2 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
2 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
3 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
5 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

It's a nice trail. You need to start from the E mountains rd. You will go up the hill. The last mile of this trail is still destroyed. Still, my hike was 8 miles. The first 2 miles were nice then you need good time boots and a good balance.

no shade
scramble
washed out
8 months ago

El Camino Cielo road was closed at Gibraltar so we drove down to the Mountain Drive head which is accessible from Park Lane. Trail quite sketchy above the waterfall. Several tough washouts but the worst about 1 mile from the top. Still worth doing but bring sticks and plenty of water. Not sure why the directions take you to the top as the assumed trail head - I’d rather hike up and then down instead of down and up.

hiking
no shade
over grown
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

I started from the E Mountain Drive trail head, it’s open. The trail is a bit crowded up to the waterfall. After the waterfall the crowds definitely thin out. I went on a Saturday. The trail is mellow and beautiful the whole way to the falls, it follows the creek so you get the peaceful sound of the water on the way up. There are a few creek crossings but there are many stones to hop on so they’re not challenging at all. The trail is completely shaded. After the waterfall there is absolutely no shade, you are exposed to the elements all the way up to the end of the trail at Camino Cielo road. I brought 2 liters of water and I went through it all. The trail has in fact been swept away in many portions. Very very sketchy in some sections, all the lose rock and steepness is challenging. As someone else mention trekking poles are a huge advantage. It’s all uphill with no shade. You are rewarded with ocean views. I marked the sketchy parts on the trail with waypoints on my recording. Pack a daypack with plenty of water, first aid, food, etc. Get out there, happy trails.-Verified Completed-

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