Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

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!

hiking
27 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!

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!

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.

hiking
1 month 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 !

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.

hiking
3 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.

hiking
3 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 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.

hiking
3 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
3 months ago

kool hike friendly vibe easy access to parking✌

Closed due to the mud slides

hiking
4 months ago

This is a great long hike. Especially nice that dogs can be off leash. Winds through nice forest and cool scenery before making it to the top of inspiration point. Parking access is definitely easier than the inspiration point hike.

hiking
6 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Santa Barbara. The pools and the water in the creek is not reliable, however I always really enjoy a good creek bed hike. The trail is narrow and there is lots of climbing over rocks but not challenging for an athlete and a super fun ascent. Be forewarned to get down to the pools your choices are to hop the rocks in the creek bed or to take the trail along the creek bed and use a rope to sort of wrap hell yourself down and incredibly dirt steep hill. All in good fun.

loved it went after it rained

hiking
7 months ago

it is a good trail but not recomended for little kids cause there are dengerous clifs.

hiking
7 months ago

Very simple hike!

hiking
7 months ago

Lovely hike with varied terrain to Inspiration Point which lives up to it’s name. We saw 4 Channel Islands. Good signage at junctions to avoid wrong turns. If you drive a sedan to the filtration plant lot, be sure to park on the right side. The left side has a high curb and will scrape the bottom of your car. SUV’s do great.

hiking
7 months ago

Uphill more than anticipated. Next time I'll let my dog swim at a lower pool and be content with that. Lots of pools.

Still plenty of water this time around.

hiking
7 months ago

The last bit to the peak is a little sketchy but do it - it’s totally worth it.

mountain biking
8 months ago

It was a brutal, technical climb. Large rocks that you would get caught up on and loose your momentum. Super sick downhill on the way back. Watch out for the slippery, leafy edges on the 30-50 ft cliffs on the side of the trail. Bring lots of food and water and Gatorades because you will lose all your electrolytes on the climb. Amazing views at the top! Thanks to those people who gave me crackers and marshmallows. You saved my butt. Wouldn't have made it without you.

great trail that leads up the back side to inspiration point. some mt bikers

on Jesusita Trail

hiking
9 months ago

An Ok trail, some nice areas, easy access.

hiking
10 months ago

I wouldn't really call this moderate. The riverbed was okay, and had a lot of rock hopping. The end of the actual 7 falls trail was okay, but not much to see. This route then takes you to '3 pools trail.' After scaling the rope / mountain side we ran in to a ~17 foot vertical wall. We looked for ways around but couldn't find any. It was basically rock climbing / bouldering. The views weren't really worth the effort. The trail is also heavily graffitied after the rope climb.

hiking
10 months ago

The trail along the creek is lovely and the pool with the waterfall is beautiful, but the hike to the top is nothing special, and the end of the trail is a road, which is pretty disappointing.

hiking
11 months ago

It was a pretty tough hike but definitely worth it.

hiking
Saturday, July 15, 2017

There was a race going on the day we did this race, which created some extra traffic on the trail. Overall, nice views of the ocean but the humidity and heat was too much for our much experienced dogs to continue after only one mile.

hiking
Sunday, July 09, 2017

Def a more strenuous way to get to inspiration point but it was a great day for a bday hike! Enjoyed the view from the top and the extra miles!!

hiking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This is a great hike! Especially after some rain! Did it a few months ago and it was awesome! A bit dry now that it's summer. Still one of my favs!

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

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

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