Explore the most popular trail running 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.

hiking
7 hours 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!

hiking
9 days 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
11 days 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

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
22 days 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.

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!

Trail is open, but looks very different. Jeep road is good but following the creek is a new landscape post debris flow.

hiking
24 days ago

It was the first my trail in Santa Barbara . Love it. Little more that 7 ml. It took me 3:15 hrs. I’m an active person and I cannot say it was hard for me . Was a nice sunny day and the view was gorgeous !

Cool old structure, not really a trail more just a dirt road. With ease of access the Castles is filled with instagram models and littered with plastic Starbucks cups and straws.

I went last Sunday and the gate leading to the trail was closed and it was 9 miles from the gate to where the hike started. Does anyone know if it is open yet?

walking
1 month ago

Great running spot with awesome bluffs. Stick to the main trails right now, don't venture onto smaller overgrown ones. My dog and I spent about 10-15 mins on a smaller trail and she ended up getting 70+ ticks! It's prime season right now, not usually this badat all.

Fun trail and nice views. If you hike all the way to the burn area on the other side of cachuma near the closed campground then it's almost 12 miles round trip.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, took about 1:15min to get to Gibralter Rd from the base. Mostly covered by trees until after the meadow or sign pointing towards the road.

POISON OAK AND TICKS SO MANY TICKS.

Connect with Snyder to get great views back down to the campground!!

Beautiful views but it’s not a hike

hiking
2 months ago

It was my first time hiking in the Santa Barbara area and I really liked this hike. I think it could have been a 5 star hike if I had hiked it on a clear day.

Parking- we easily found parking along the side of the road on the right side near the trailhead...which is on the left side of the road

Trail- the sign at the start states that the trail is 4.2 miles with 641 ft of elevation gain...not sure what that is based on, but if you are like me and wish to take this trail to Inspiration Point and back it was 7.1 miles for me with an elevation gain of 1,600 ft...so quite a bit of difference there; the trail is easy to follow and the first 1.5 goes north and sticks close to the creek and the water was running with some recent rain; the trail then leaves the trees and heads in a NE direction through a more open sort of grassland area and you will cross a road and some private property nearby and then the incline kicks in for the final mile or so with some switchbacks up to Inspiration Point...which I didn't see any signs but I had my app to verify we had made it there and there were some other hikers there already but sadly there was no view to enjoy since it was an extremely overcast and foggy morning (4/2/18) and visibility was maybe 200 yards so there was no view of the ocean or island sadly; the hike was green, with the sound of running water for most of the time, and great views of the mountains to the northeast...I just wished we could have seen the ocean...FYI dogs are allowed on this trail off leash which doesn't bother me but might bother some

*the second half of the hike we really worked up a sweat not only because it was steeper but it was very humid and there was a light mist/drizzle

Of course bring plenty of water and hiking shoes or shoes with good traction, trekking poles are not needed for this hike. Plan on this hike taking about 3-4 hours. I would rate this as moderately difficult.

2 months ago

Not great for hiking. Good bike ruts. Pretty views.

hiking
2 months ago

I did the full trail today. After the bench, it does get VERY overgrown, so much so that there are several moments you're unsure if you should keep going. But it was definitely worth it. There is a rock past the bench, to stand on you can see miles and miles in every direction. The heart thumping portion comes as you get closer to sea level though, and climbing back up was certainly a cardio workout (especially after I saw a snake and was hightailing it faster). If you have faith, you can find the trail after losing it every time, and the trail ultimately ends in a gorgeous rocky creek that winds all the way back to foothill road. Total time 3 hours.

hiking
2 months ago

I went on a very misty/foggy day so the views at the top of Inspiration point weren't that great, but the journey there and back made up for it! Lots of ravines, boulders, wooded streams, and then the winding turns making your way up the mountain made for a great walk. The last mile or two have very little shade so bring sun protection and plenty of water.

We hiked this today! Awesome views. Didn’t see a soul out there. Looks like a lot of people bike this trail. Costs $10 to get into lake recreation area.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike if you're looking for a moderately difficult hike, nothing fancy. Parts of it are challenging enough to make you sweat, it's easy to follow, and there's a rewarding view at the top. We hiked it midday on a Friday and the trail wasn't too busy. It's very well marked. The creeks were flowing and the foliage was lush, but this is early April so I expect it will be dry as a bone later in the summer. Speaking of foliage, there's a ton of poison oak so keep an eye out if you have little ones. My 4 little guys (ages 4-9) hiked it no problem, tho we had to constantly remind them to avoid the poison oak. Parking was really easy too, just along the road opposite the filtration plant. I'd recommend starting early and packing plenty of water.

definitely on the easier side of moderate

hiking
2 months ago

I’ve loved this trail for years. It is enough of a challenge to make you feel like you accomplished something. I love the pace of it and the carried terrain. If it has rained you might find some mud, but the creek will be flowing and provide amazing acoustics for your hike. I love to do this with friends and even the preteens like this one! Highly recommend, and start at the water treatment if you want to cut it to 6.6 miles and about 1500’ of elevation.

hiking
2 months ago

Very beautiful view! Easy to walk to.

hiking
3 months ago

kool hike friendly vibe easy access to parking✌

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