Explore the most popular 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.





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Santa Barbara, California Map
8 hours ago

I enjoy walking the trail that follows the edge of the bluffs overlooking the ocean. At certain times of year, I've had flocks of Brown Pelicans fly so close to me I could almost reach out and touch them. I've seen spectacular multi-hued fog over the ocean as the sun sets. More Mesa is covered with a wide variety of native California plants and flowers. I have two complaints: It's a shame that it's in the direct flight path of large commercial airliners about to land at Santa Barbara Airport. I've been there during times when another big plane flies low overhead every 3 - 5 minutes. My other complaint is about rude hikers. When sharing a narrow dirt path and passing someone walking in the opposing direction, it is common courtesy to say "Hello" or "Good Morning" or whatever. I've found that my smile, nod and friendly "Hello" often receives only a blank stare from the stranger who just brushed shoulders with me as he/she passes by. Maybe they're zombies..?

Love that Jesusita connects you to other trails giving you a choice to seek more or turn right back and seek more maybe another day.

well kept up trail..great to bring your best friend..very enjoyable

Beautiful trail with breathtaking views towards the end. Also, a nice workout, especially the last mile or so. We also didn’t see any rattle snakes, which was a welcome relief.

Nice hike with beautiful views

19 days ago

This was no joke, by far the hardest trail I’ve ever done. Very difficult to find as well, but the views are so worth it. Bring lots of water and fuel to replenish your energy. It was only about 80 the day I did it, but it’s like you’re baking between all the rocks.

19 days ago

Easy trail with gorgeous views

Beautiful hike for most of it. There is a point where you are standing under some very big shady trees and you have to choose to go straight or to the left. There is a trail sign, but neither direction is called Rattle Snake Canyon. To the left is the remainder of the trail. It’s at this junction most of the regulars turn around. I learned why. The rest is really steep. No shade and hot. The views are not that impressive and the end of the trail is nothing special. It just links up with other trails into another canyon. Great if you want a leg burner or a sunburn or to link up to the other trails. Up until those beautiful trees it was beautiful, shady and I couldn’t stop talking pictures. Will make this a regular hike.

20 days ago

This was harder then I expected. It’s really uphill and pretty bumpy/rocky. Some beautiful views along the way. It’s 2.8 miles to the top. Would recommend when it’s not too hot out or cloudy day because there’s no shade.

22 days ago

On an overcast weekend morning, starting out at 9:15am, it was not crowded on the trail though parking was pretty full. A beautiful hike even with some clouds. The trail forks about halfway up. Stay to the left.

27 days ago

Nice convenient walk with birdseye views of east Montecito. Only one other hiker on Sunday noon, so not as busy as overview suggests.

Trail is open.

1 month ago

Some nice views of the other side of Santa Cruz island but not as amazing as we expected from a national park.

1 month ago

Went to the Channel Islands for the day and this was one of the 3 hikes we did. Cool views, but not quite as spectacular as we were expecting.


Great hike. Started around 7am with my group but it was just so hot already, we only made it to Arlington peak. You are pretty much exposed to the sun the whole time, definitely plan to do the hike on a cooler day.

Compared to the others listed as easy, this is moderate. It's a really nice path especially for sunset. The park closes at 7:30 though. Lovely views. I was the only one on the trail and I loved it. Saw some neat birds too.

Here is the deal. It’s a park with a nice paved walking path, but the “hike” starts when you take the long-ish stair case down to the beautiful relatively empty undeveloped beach and “hike” to your hearts content along the beach or to any of the other long staircase access points. This is very much an unofficial off leash dog area. This hike is also tide dependent. A hide tide would make this potentially impossible. Tides change daily. A quick google search will let you know what the ocean is up to that day.
You could also head South on the pavement from the park towards the marina and walk on pavement for miles along more development/used beaches, but that’s not what this “hike” is sharing.

Did this hike last year, attempted today but the trail is closed. You might be able to push through but from what I saw it isn’t worth it. Hopefully the trail will be open by the end of the year.
Again as of today, the trail is marked as “closed” when you get there and the road is closed on your way there as well.

Beautiful ocean views all around. Not much vegetation.

With high temperatures continuously soaring, the landscape hardly had any sort of vegetation. However, revegetation is being carried through to make sure Santa Cruz Island is abundant in life to ensure ecological restoration. Regarding the hike itself, the trail consisted mostly of going downhill. You’ll also be passing though Smuggler’s Canyon Trail. As a result of hiking past another trail, it was difficult to record the actual amount of time and distance it took me to get to Smuggler’s Cove.

The map displayed that the hike towards Smuggler’s Cove is 7.5 miles, but from my experience, it was half that distance. This indicates, to me, that the distance is the total hike of going there and going back, in other words, a round trip.

When you get there, there’ll be few vegetation and the shore is compiled of rocks.

I put three stars because lack of vegetation and good scenic views.

2 months ago

Probably best to go earlier in the day, when we set out for the hike it was after 12:00 and quite hot. It's true what they say about Rattlesnake Canyon, we saw one on the way up and one on the way down. Don't kid yourself, the rattlers are out there, be aware!

2 months ago

This trail doesn’t have more Rattlesnakes than any other trial in Santa Barbara (it’s just a name). The East fork is overgrown and not worth risking poison oak but the main trail is in great condition and easy to follow. Surprised to see and hear water in the creek even in late August.

The road to Red Rocks trail head is open, check: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lpnf/recarea/?recid=81860. Hiked the trail on Saturday; 8/18/2018 with two others. It was a pretty hot day with temps in upper 80s low 90s, with low winds and no cloud coverage with some tree shade coverage. Started at 8:30 am, we brought lots of water, about 6L-7L each and used it all. We hiked to the dam and continued to the mercury mine, time totaled about 7 hours, with lots of stops in shade, and food breaks.

The trail follows and criss-crosses the mostly dry bed, flat for the most part, with a hill leading up to the dam. most of the grass is golden and If you continue to the mercury mine, you walk along a fire road, which runs along the side of the reservoir. There are hardly any trail markers so, make sure you have a map or someone who knows where to go. We saw 2 people on the way there, and lots of people enjoying the water spots closer to the beginning of the trail as we came back.

Overall this is a good solid hike, just make sure to take into account heat, and bring plenty of water.

This hike had a good amount of shade, which was nice when I went in August. There was a spot with waterfalls and small pools of water. Lots of dogs on this hike. Rattlesnakes are common, this hike lives up to its name! I heard about) but didn't see) a rattler at the end of this trail.

Good hike. The end of the trail was pretty steep and had a rope to help you get down. Not much of a view at the end, and there was no waterfall when I went in August.

It's the same starting point as a few other hikes, and a great one! I did this hike in mid August. It was really hot but doable and short. The view at the top was worth it. I also wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be.

2 months ago

Would love to finish this hike!

on Tunnel Trail

2 months ago

Views are great along the trail. it's a hard trail that is mostly open with no shade. you must take lots of water if you plan to finish the whole main trail. also, hiking shoes would help as it's easy to slide with running shoes.

Fun hike on mostly paved road. Water was nice to swim in at the cove. Great scenery and solitude.

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