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

Length 2.2 mi Elevation gain 895 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Rock climbing

Bird watching

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Description
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Getting There

Great creek, 100 ft. waterfall, some poison oak, rock hopping, shady and cool You should be along the creek for the entirety of the hike. The first half has a trail that runs parallel to the creek. For the second half, hike/scramble up boulders directly up the creek. The offshoot trails along the second half end up more treacherous than hiking directly up the creek. 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.

California state parks 805-968-1033

- From Santa Barbara Mission (Los Olivos and Laguna St.) - Get on Highway 101 South by taking Los Olivos St.to State St. Turn right on Mission St. Get on the Southbound onramp to 101 - Take the Olive Mill Rd. Exit. Turn left. - The road becomes Hot Springs Rd. at some point without turning - At East Mountain Dr., turn left. - Drive about a mile and a half and park just before, or just after the stream crossing on the road. - The trailhead begins on either side of the stream, but is best started before the stream crossing at the Montecito Trails Association sign.

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Reviews (280)
Photos (200)
Recordings (220)
Completed (582)
Sara Baker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 07 2020
Hiking

Make sure to read all of the reviews and screenshot directions before you do this hike! It may only be a few miles but it can be confusing to find your way. We had to ask for directions several times, and the last section is more of a bouldering/climbing experience. The waterfall and view of the ocean is spectacular when you get to the top though!

Benjamin Seaman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This is a fun hike with some interesting and challenging spots, but will be doable for almost everyone. I will second what everyone else said about this not being ideal for pets and children. We saw several at the beginning but if you want to get to the top falls with them you're going to end up carrying them. That aside, it's a good time with plenty of places to stop and soak your feet, with two spots near the top big enough to sit in and enjoy the cool water with your hiking partner. Note that the trail is not always clearly marked. if you follow the signs for the West Fork of Cold Springs you should be golden.

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Seazer Salazar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingBugsOver grownRockyScramble

Took two wrong turns. The first was seeing the creek & not following it after you pass the pole on the ground a few times. The second I was on the trail & started climbing somewhere half way to my right. Just follow the creek, don’t bring a dog, don’t wear sandals, & expect to get dirty/sweaty. Loved the view!

Jessica Barrera
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 03 2020
HikingScramble
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Paul Ortega
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 28 2020
Hiking

Great Hike with a amazing 100ft waterfall view. It will take some effort to rock climb towards the end but it’s worth it. Definitely don’t recommend bringing kids along you just have to be careful coming down since rocks can get slippery when wet.

Richard Messmore
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingOver grownRockyWashed out

Good hike for exercise!

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Natalie Haub
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Amazing waterfall!! Very fun and strategic hike if you go up the river. Getting over/around the boulders requires some strategizing and teamwork (if you’re in a group), but is definitely doable. Also, expect a full body workout on this one.

Joy Huitron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 23 2020
HikingOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

Fun hike! Definitely some shady areas as you get close to waterfall, be careful! Lots of scrambling.

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DJ Goodman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 23 2020
HikingOver grownRockyScramble

As of June 23, 2020, there was construction at the base of the trailhead. All the parking stalls were filled at 8:30 AM so we parked down a ways. It was a foggy morning which made the hike even more spectacular. There are a few sketchy areas where you MUST be careful with your footing and handholds; otherwise, you could end up being a statistic. I wouldn't bring my kids here until they fix some of the sketchy areas. For the first 1/2 mile to 3/4 mile, the trail meanders upwards next to the stream. Some of this portion is overgrown but not too bad. Watch out for poison oak. It's all over the place. After about 3/4 mile, you'll have to walk up the stream via boulder-hopping and rock scrambling. It's a fun adult playground! We made it all the way to the falls. You just have to look around for the best boulders to hop, climb, or go around. There area a couple more "sketchy" parts during the scrambling portion so be careful. You'll start seeing the falls on the upper right side as you continue into the canyon. Keep looking at your AllTrails app if you need help finding the way closer to the falls. It halped us a couple of times. Enjoy!

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Matthew Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jun 21 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This hike is spectacular! It is really not too difficult of a hike. Towards the end of the hike, you do have to do quite a bit of rock climbing and maneuvering up steep terrain, but the large boulders have an abundance of natural hand and footholds so they are really quite easy to climb up if you have a moderate amount of arm and upper body strength. I did this whole hike barefoot and it was so fun. Just keep going along the creek! Tangerine falls is SO worth it!!! It's an unforgettable 100 foot waterfall with an unbelievable view!

Lisa Kiefer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Jun 19 2020
Hiking

Second attempt to find the falls. See my last review for the trail attempt. This time we turned right at the Y down to the creek and rock-hopped up. Made it pretty far; it was slippery and rocky climbing up/around lots of smallish waterfalls. After about 75 minutes, we got to a very steep section of the creek with huge boulders and some taller waterfalls. Didn’t see any obvious way up that and scrambling up the sides looked sketchy. Once again, on the map it looked like we were very close to the falls but we had to get back. Really pretty anyway and challenging (in a fun way, not like the shale trail up the hill) even though we didn’t make it to the falls, I’d do it again. I left a marker on the map where you want to start heading up the creek. Also, I swear AllTrails changed the route on this trail to follow the creek; I’m pretty sure last month it directed us up the shaley trail up the steep hill to the left of the creek. This rock-hopping section is not dog-friendly or appropriate for young kids.

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Marie Mancuso
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 17 2020
Off trailPrivate propertyRockyScramble

So reading the previous reviews I was like ok no big, Black Star and Aztec Falls had rock scrambling and those were pretty do-able, so will Tangerine Falls. Folks I gotta tell ya I was mistaken, this by far has been the most difficult and oddly the shortest waterfall hike I've ever done. It is NOT 1 mile in, 1 out. Maybe a mile on flat ground point A-B but NOPE. My Garmin clocked this as doing 2.24 miles in (which the 1st half is all uphill walking and the last mile is all up hill rock climbing) I am out of shape but I was able to do this. Albeit I was cursing the entire way questioning why the hell I picked this trail and wondering how long SAR would be when I eventually fall to my doom, but I still did it. For real leave your dogs at home, leave your children at home if you are even remotely clumsy, you're gonna have a bad time. Proper hiking shoes with mad grip is a must, trekking poles would have been helpful too, there is no rope at the last large boulder (actually no rope anywhere and there were at least 3 spots 1 would have been EXTREMELY helpful) to scale so upper body strength came in handy. Overall it was fun, the little pool at the falls was refreshing, picked a cloudy day but the view was still incredible.

Julie Jam
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 16 2020
HikingOff trailOver grownRockyScramble

Slippery towards the end. Lots of rock scrambling once you pass the main trail. Good hiking shoes recommended rocks are loose and slippery. Bring extra shoes for the way home. It’s definitely not 2.2 miles. You’re looking at 3.5 to 5 miles. We went a little off trail.

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