Explore the most popular hiking trails near Santa Barbara with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Had the cove to myself. Did some off-trail hiking near the cove, a dry riverbed. Great solitude, sweeping vistas. Fox followed me much of the way back.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome, easy, beautiful trail!

Beautiful views, nice easy afternoon hike.

Trail has been devastated by fires and floods. Slowly growing back. We had to take a different track because of washouts. Ended up just hiking up to the hot springs water was flowing into a small pool. More warm than hot. Actually Interesting to see the power of Mother Nature to destroy and rejuvenate.

Was looking for a 3 or 4 hr hike and a good workout. Was on the trail for 3.5 hrs. Really nice hike. Could hear water trickling through canyon for about 20% of the trail. A few really cool little waterfalls. Several forks on trail left me wondering if I went the right way. Took a wrong turn once and had to backtrack. Suggest GPS to keep you on the trail if you’re not familiar with the area. Some great views of SB and the Channel Islands. Got to the end of the official Rattlesnake Canyon trail but decided to keep going on another trail (Tunnel Trail maybe). After about 10 minutes on this trail, I was treated to an amazing view of SB. Definitely worth the extra time on the trail. Went on a Thursday. Parking was no problem and the trail wasn’t too crowded. Got just what I wanted - a cool hike and a great workout!

Overview: I hiked this 2 days ago, and was very glad for all the shade since it was pretty hot. This is an out and back trail. You can start at either end, at Tuckers Grove or along the 154. I personally like starting at the 154, so that when you reach the end you can relax at the park if you want before heading back. It took me about 1.5 hours for around 4 miles.

Pros:
- Plenty of parking at both entrances
- Lots of shade
- Dogs are allowed on a leash
- Mostly flat

Cons
- Can get pretty crowded
- Watch for poison oak

This was a great starter for small children. The ruins make it feel like an adventure and the views are fantastic.

hiking
15 days ago

Great quick hike with a bit of elevation

Not much of a hike but a very cool view.

It’s hard . Take a lot of water , good shoes and protect your hands. The map little confuse but you will figure out . I would like to that again! It worst it .

Not really a hike but great views.

Fun, easy, well marked, good shade

Did this one starting from the Romero Canyon trailhead a few days ago since I couldn’t find the specific Buena vista trailhead and worked backwards. It was quite the workout! It was beautiful and serene, only saw one person the entire time. Unfortunately, the area where the catway trail meets the buena vista trail is absolutely covered in poison oak and I am pretty susceptible so I just turned around. Luckily I still got to do the majority of it though! Would try again maybe in another season.

hiking
21 days ago

Moderately strenuous trail through the canyon. Trail markers not always clear but easy enough to find your way back.

Fun hike

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!

An almost daily of mine. It really is a dog park that some people without dogs go to...

hiking
26 days ago

Excellent. A little tiring once you pass the private property water fuel up (I’m in average shape). That stretch and the switchbacks had me zapped! Parts of the trail are pretty narrow, and flowering plants line them (read: bees!). Lots of bees. It was not a problem for me, but if you are allergic, keep this in mind! There’s not a lot of avoiding them.

Views at the top are amazing. Once the trail ends, keep going down the utility road when you see power lines. You’ll see a little sub trail off to the right that leads to inspiration point.

When in doubt, keep going up!

rock climbing
26 days ago

My favorite hike of all time. Very challenging but VERY fun, I have yet to find another like it.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my new favorites. Plenty of shaded areas, so one of the better trails for hotter days. Multiple sceneries including creek, dense trees, and open outlooks areas. Can be as difficult as you want it to be. Best part was my dog taking the opportunity for a quick cool off in the creek. And not too much foot traffic, especially for a Sunday!

walking
1 month ago

Short walk to great views.

Beautiful views, perfect spot to watch the sunset!

fun and easy "hike", it's really walking down a dirt road to the castle. The views of the horizon from the castle are amazing. I would def do it again, but be warned it is easy and super short.

Trail is open, checked it out yesterday and spotted a bear as an FYI. According to another hiker it is a mother who also has a cub

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!

Really loved the hike what little I did of it. Only went about 1/2 hour in then out. Only had small amount of time. True bummer was I parked in the Skofield Park parking area. My driver window was smashed out and my laptop and back pack stolen. BIG bummer. Park on the road. Set your alarm.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike, my first one in Santa Barbara. There were times where I felt like I was so isolated I could be in another country, in the forest, and I loved that. It was difficult for me, cannot speak for all but there were some parts where the path is very small. There are some really beautiful views. If you go to UCSB, extra plus because you can see campus from the top.

I did this hike very last minute and was totally surprised it was open. It’s right in the midst of the Montecito Debris Flow and shows the devastation that hit the area. I was almost in tears as I did the loop. There’s still plenty of poison oak though. After completing the hike, consider volunteering or supporting the SB Bucket Brigade.

There is another reviewer, Olek K., that is 100% correct in warning you about the difficulty of this trail.

This is the hardest hike in SB, but also the most rewarding.

Bring 2+ liters of water, sunscreen for before and at the top of the trail, a hat, clothes that you are alright with sweating through completely, and good hiking shoes.

Start out on the trail by 9:00 AM in the Summer or risk getting fatigued by the heat. Or start out at 4:30 PM in June/July and get a bit of natural shade on the way up.

Don't bring your dog, unless your dog's a goat.

It’s a good workout if you go all the way to the top! Beautiful hike, just beware there are a lot of bees toward the end of the hike, and it’s a little toasty (not shaded) toward the end of the hike, as well. Bring sunscreen!

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