Distance – 1.5 miles to the Munch Connector; .4 miles from Fir Canyon to top of connector; .75 miles to East Pinery; 1.5 from the loop to the paved road; 2 miles on the road back to your car
Elevation – 500′ loss to the to Munch Spur; 300′ gain from Fir Canyon to top of saddle; 450′ gain from saddle to East Pinery loop; 400′ gain from end of loop to paved road; total gain from Fir Canyon is 1,160′
Trail Conditions – Fir Canyon is in good shape but it is rocky and there is a lot of exposure. Ride with extreme caution.
Difficulty – Moderate with Level 2 and 3 single track. You will want to walk some of the sections due to the dropoffs
Topo – Figueroa Mountain
This is one of the prettiest rides in Santa Barbara, combining the beauty of Fir Canyon with a ride back up through an aromatic grove of Yellow, Jeffrey, and Coulter pines. The canyon is filled with lush vegetation, cascading pools and of course, tall firs trees, while the route back combines some uphill single track and an excellent graded dirt road that ends at the saddle at Ranger Peak.
From Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos, take Figueroa Mountain Road 15.0 miles to the start of the Davy Brown Trail. It is a mile beyond Figueroa Mountain Campground.
The first 1.5 miles of this ride take you down Fir Canyon, a narrow gorge cut through Monterey Shale and filled with spruce, oaks, and maples. The single track is excellent though you may want to walk some of it. When you reach the memorial to Edgar Davison, a bronze plaque set in a large serpentine boulder, look for the Munch Spur Trail on the right side of the creek.
The trail is steep for the first hundred yards. You will have to push up this part, but after that the trail can be ridden. It is slightly more than a half mile to an open saddle where the main Munch Canyon Trail and East Pinery connector begin.
Munch Canyon Trail continues straight ahead and quickly drops down into the canyon. To continue on the East Pinery Loop, turn right and follow the trail leading uphill. The first part is too steep to walk but after you’ve pushed for several hundred yards the trail begins to switch back and forth and the grade is easy enough to ride. The switchbacks ends at the end loop at the bottom of the Pinery. At one time the upper part of the trail led through an enchanting forest but the Marre Fire destroyed all of the trees below the loop road.
Once you are on the dirt road it is 1.5 miles of easy uphill to Ranger Saddle. Turn right on the paved road and descend 2 miles on it to the Davy Brown trailhead.