Tangerine Falls Trail [CLOSED]

HARD 80 reviews
#113 of 171 trails in

Tangerine Falls Trail [CLOSED] is a 2.2 mile moderately 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 best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2.2 miles
971 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

rock climbing


bird watching




wild flowers





This trail is currently closed due to damage from fire and mudslides. Great creek, 100 ft. waterfall, some poison oak, rock hopping, shady and cool This hike starts out as an relatively easy uphill climb. At one point, the trail forks and splits off. The way to Tangerine Falls starts to the right. This part of the trail becomes somewhat rocky, and some scrambling is required. Watch out for Poison Oak! The trail is very nice and mostly shady. The creek running through the length of the trail is very nice also. Towards the end of the hike, there is a little waterfall to the right. This is not Tangerine Falls, but still a very nice little waterfall. When it seems difficult to go any farther, keep going! The trail turns into a moderate rock climb, but no special equipment is required at all. Keep looking to the right for Tangerine Falls. When you finally get to the Falls, you will come upon a big boulder. The rock is climbable, but it takes some doing. Look closely, and be creative, but careful. You will find your way up.

6 months ago

Both trails that run along the north and south side of the creek are CLOSED. Nothing indicated when they would reopen.

7 months ago

Cold Springs rd. closed and barricaded heading up to the trailhead due to damage from the fire and mudslides. Parked below and attempted to walk 0.3mi to the trail head, but was turned away by a park ranger doing his rounds. Will try back in a few weeks!

8 months ago

One of the better hikes in the area if you like some variety of bouldering/hiking. Not the best for trail running as most open path trails have been affected by the mudslides. Lots of visible poison oak but I was not affected by it after knowingly walking through it. Fun and not too strenuous. I did not realize the path forked and decided to go left instead but still found some falls and active streams. Fun for dogs too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Intense, never made it to the falls. Lots of bouldering!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Fantastic view!!!! It is not an easy marked trail. luckily we found somebody on the trail who knew how to get to it! I was sore the next day full body work out guranteed!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Just hiked there from the west fork cold springs trail. It was a beautiful and challenging day hike. Nothing crazy for an experienced hiker, but does include some scrambling. Be prepared to sort of 'choose your own adventure' once you get close to the falls. It is not a marked or well worn trail and it feels a bit open to interpretation in areas. I enjoyed that. The falls were dry, but the creeks/springs along the way were running and there were plenty of pools that you could cool off in. The views from the base of the falls are awesome, especially on a clear day. I only saw one other person on a weekday.

Friday, June 09, 2017

ALMOST Done! ; )

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Love that there's so much shade!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Great hike, not a long hike, but the end before the waterfall is mild climbing more than hiking. I've taken my 55lb puppy and I'm able to lift her up the climbing part. The first time I hiked this, the map led me above the falls though, not to them. Mostly you follow the creek pretty close.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Shady and the perfect amount of boulder climbing.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ended up going here on the way down the other trails. This one is a pretty steep climb, but there are a few pools along the way to take breaks at. The overall hike isn't long, but to get to the actual waterfall you have to do some rock climbing, but it is totally worth it!

There was a bit of poison oak along the way but it was easily avoided, and the trail was not overgrown or hard to follow.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This trail is NOT the one that takes you to the waterfall. This trail takes you above it. It's a rather steep trail and it switchbacks up the mountain. Make sure you have pants, water and good shoes. As it becomes overgrown as you get up higher and closer to seeing the waterfall. It does have a great view overlooking the ocean on a clear day.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Falls were going this weekend. Watch for poison oak. You can bring a dog if it's athletic and able to jump 4-5 feet. Otherwise I wouldn't advise it unless you want to carry.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Fantastic hike, trail overgrown in places, long pants advisable.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Just the right amount of intensity. Our first time hiking this trail, took us about an hour to get to the Falls. The way down was much faster about 30 min. Started around 3pm, cooler weather and less people. I would say I'm a beginner when it comes to hiking, this hike is totally doable. So much water at the falls!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beautiful waterfalls on this hike and a lot of poison oak ... but worth the hike up to see the waterfalls and views.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Have done this hike three times since the start of all the rain and each time the falls have become greater and greater. Great blend of hiking and bouldering. Wouldn't recommend bringing your dog on this hike.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Went right after the rain and the waterfall was gushing! Very slippery. If you're trying to get to the waterfall, I don't recommend bringing your dog.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Worth the climb! The falls were gorgeous!!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Such an amazing hike. I went around 2:30 PM to avoid foot traffic but it was still a little busy. Started raining an hour in, and it became a lot more slippery and muddy, but if you take your sweet time it is not too treacherous. Prepare to get wet! Waterproof shoes, a rain cover, and a change of clothes are key! All the rain has the waterfall really flowing!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

be ready to climb some rocks. there was no water when we went, but the view is pretty!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One of my favorite trails. Much better when there is water. Kind of hard to find, but that is half the fun!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

3/27/2013: (about 4 miles up one way) If you like to go up, take the left trail that goes up above the falls, crosses the creek, then continues up and up to Camino Cielo. This is not the West Fork Trail that connects to Gibraltar Road. This goes around the falls then practically straight up to Camino Cielo.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The West Fork Cold Springs trail is very well maintained so the overgrown and poorly maintained Tangerine Trail is hard to find by comparison. Passed it once and had to turn back. If you reach the water tunnel on the West fork you have gone to far. Lot's of Poison Oak. My fianc got Poison Oak and I got a tick. The mountain fought back that day and we lost. Had to turn back before reaching the falls. Will try again after I finish my antibiotics and she completes her Predisone prescription.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It was a great hike but dissapointed when I got to the falls. There was very little water but other than that the hike was great. The trail is very confusing but if you stick to the river you should make it to the falls. I probably would recommend trying to get to the falls in the spring or summer when the falls are actually going.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Took this trail twice in July, got lost both times. Very many trails. The rock hopping near the end got a little intimidating at times but the vast majority of the trail is well packed. There was some flowing water and collected pools. Saw a wild salamander, that was neat! No snakes, no bug bites, and easily seen poison oak which is always nice. :]

Friday, March 16, 2012

This would probably get 5 stars if I could have actually found the falls. What water pipes? It was gone in 100 yards. Great trail overall, though. Lots of variation- stream crossing, bouldering, switchbacks, and not a lot of real steep spots.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Great hike. Highly recommend.

2 months ago

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