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
12 hours ago

Not Easy! And more than 3 miles. Logged 70 floors because of the extreme elevation changes. Beautiful views. Probs not kid friendly.

I originally planned on hiking the Gaviota Peak Trail but two cars were broken into when I got to the parking lot. Hide your valuables. I wasn’t let down when I decided to do Sweetwater Trail. I also did Vista Point and all the side trails. Sunset was incredible. This hike exceeded my expectations.

1 day ago

This trail can be done in a comfortable pace. Not strenuous. The scenic view of the ocean is EXPECTACULAR. We saw people riding their bikes, walking with their dogs, and some horse poop. The entrance is surrounded by poison ivy. I will not bring a kid here. I wore long sleeve shirt, pants, hat, closed shoes and it helped feel a little safer when entering the trail. This was for about 10mins of walking. It was a great walk and great views. PS this walk was on Dec 2017. I am unsure if fires, mudslide, rain have affected the area after that date.

Excellent hike!

4 days ago

Didn’t feel especially safe. The trail is very overgrown and had a number of bees and poison oak. It’s also very secluded, and has a lot of little inlets filled with beer bottles. I wasn’t super comfortable finishing on my own. I made it to the first clearing and it was a gorgeous view, but definitely recommend taking a friend and wearing long pants!

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

1 month ago

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

I’ll second everything Olek wrote beneath my review.

The hiking part of this trail ends where the river bed begins and then becomes a full on scramble/boulder hopping/mild rock climbing slog.

The trail is hard to pick up from the stream bed. I found google maps worked better for me than the AllTrails map...

If you find yourself walking more than 100 yards up the stream you’re going the wrong way. You have to go back and cross the stream bed and head through the bush. It can get confusing because (as others have written) there are many side trails.

Near the top of Arlington the trail becomes kinda elusive... you could just boulder your way to the top or find a place to hang and eat lunch.

This would be a hot hike in warm weather so if you’re out there in 80 degrees + bring a ton of water/Gatorade/snacks.

With all that said it’s a great “hike” with great views.

1 month ago

Very simple hike!

Such an amazing view at the end of the hike!

Very simple and easy hike! liked it!

I was amazing, full of colors !

Is not much of a hike. However, the views are beautiful, worth it.

1 month ago

Highly recommended!

1 month 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.

The area is beautiful but if your looking for a heart thumping hike this is not it. The hike is super short even for a beginner. I wouldn't waste my time driving out to do this hike, look for another hike.

This trail is ok, nothing to exciting. Also I don't know if I would rate it "moderate" it seems to be more comparable to other "easy" trails. There are a couple of short hills but not that steep, the rest is relatively flat. There are a couple of views of the lake, but not as many as you would expect. To re-iterate another hikers comment: Free parking if you start at vista point.

Though rated easy this trail took you through the dry river bed for a lot of the 1st half of the hike making the footing a bit challenging. Beautiful views everywhere. At the time we hiked this trail it was very still and warmer and the flies were relentless. I would defiantly do this hike again but when it’s cooler and with a bit of breeze.

Great, well-marked trail. I tracked the distance as closer to 4-miles from the trailhead.

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