Day Hikes

Aliso Canyon Trail

Aliso means "Sycamore" in Spanish and this delightful little canyon is full of them. Within the three mile loop you'll find a variety of plant life, from riparian vegetation in the canyon to oak meadows and grass-covered hills on the upper part of the trail. Read story.

Arroyo Burro Backside

A Delightful Hike From the Santa Ynez River Side of the Mountains

This is a delightful trail that leads up through a narrow canyon and because it isn't traveled too often, is a nice hike for those who want a bit of solitude. The narrow, rocky canyon is shaded and is filled with lush riparian vegetation and a cool creek that runs year round except in extremely dry years. Read story.

Arroyo Burro Trail

Once the main passageway into the backcountry for the Chumash, it is a trail rich with history.

There's just a wisp of a line across the ridge line anymore, a long thread of a line that suggests more of a past than it does the future. This is the Arroyo Burro Trail, once the main passageway into the backcountry for the Chumash. It is a trail rich with history. Read story.

Baron Ranch Calling All Hikers

County Celebrates Opening of New Gaviota Coast Trail

County celebrates opening of new Gaviota Coast trail; Camino Cielo connection may be coming. Read story.

Camuesa Connector Day Hike

Little Known Trail leads Right From the River

This trail gets relatively little use, making it nice for a more secluded hike. The trail leads up and across a high bench with nice views overlooking the pool at Live Oak. Above, it cuts across a series of saddles formed by a fault line. Read story.

Cold Springs Trail-East Fork

Deep and shaded by alders, the perennial creek offers scores of places to spend an afternoon. Even the name suggests something special.

Absolutely my very favorite trail. Within a few yards of your car the pools begin. Deep and shaded by alders, the perennial creek offers scores of places to spend an afternoon. Even the name suggests something special. Cold Springs represents the shortest distance you can travel to get the furthest away from Santa Barbara. Read story.

Cold Springs-West Fork

Gateway to Tangerine Falls and a Water Tunnel Built in 1905

Though not a long nor well-known trail, it leads up a very pretty canyon to Gibraltar Road. A side trip along the way leads to Tangerine Falls and the upper end of the Middle Fork canyon. Read story.

Devil's Canyon Loop

Great Views While You Follow the Santa Ynez Fault

Though a relatively long hike, Devil's Canyon offers the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful hike up the Santa Ynez River to Gibraltar Dam with a return trip through a narrow, lush canyon and back along the grassy slopes of the Santa Ynez Fault to Live Oak picnic area. Read story.

Forbush Flats or Bust

Fall Colors, Winter Coolness, and Great Views of the Backcountry

The hike down the back side of Cold Springs Trail to Forbush Flat provides the perfect winter workout. Read story.

Inspiration Point

Great Views and the Perfect Power Walk

Whether for an early morning or evening hike, Inspiration Point is the perfect hike. Read story.

Jesusita Trail

So close to civilization yet a very special getaway nonetheless.

Today there are large homes jutting out on either sides of San Roque Canyon and what is left of the pastoral life is comprised mainly of avocado ranching. But as you enter the canyon and begin to walk along the creek's edge the feeling of being in a very special place still remains. Read story.

La Cumbre Peak Off-Trail Scramble

Don't Try This Without a Guide Who's Completed It Before

Mighty La Cumbre Peak looms north, high above my puny dwelling on Santa Barbara’s Westside. Read story.

Lower Manzana Creek Trail

Meandering Along the Creek Through Historic Pioneer Country

The lower Manzana Trail wanders for 8 miles to its confluence with the Sisquoc River. Here you can visit the historic Manzana School where 20-25 children received their education in the 1890s. Read story.

Lower Oso Kid's Hike

Short But Easy for the Kids

Though a short hike, this trail provides a nice walk from the Lower Oso area and because it is fairly level, is nice for children. It can be extended into a longer hike by continuing through Upper Oso campground into Oso Canyon. Read story.

Matias Potrero

An Old Powerline Road Provides a Wonderful Trail

This trail leads across the north side of the Santa Ynez Mountains through open fields of grass and a series of ridges from Arroyo Burro Road to Gibraltar Dam. With the exception of the ups and downs caused by the ridgelines, surprisingly the trail is almost level, and high enough from the valley floor to provide scenic views of the canyon and the San Rafael Mountains. Read story.

Nineteen Oaks Via Santa Cruz Trail

An Enjoyable Short Hike or You Can Go All the Way to the Top of Little Pine

The trail leads through the Oso Narrows, a beautiful sandstone canyon formed of Matilija Sandstone, then connects with the Santa Cruz Trail. Read story.

Old Romero Road

Closed to through traffic in the 70s, a trail everyone can enjoy.

Closed to through traffic in the 70s, a trail everyone can enjoy: hikers; trail runners,; mountain bikers; and by horse. The grade is gentle and the views superb. Read story.

Parma Park - East

More rugged terrain, the main eastside hike takes you to a great view point. Read story.

Parma Park - West

Beautiful Open Grasslands and Oak Woodland Make This Part of the Park a Wonderful Place for Kids

Originally owned by the Parma Family, the west part of the park is perfect for an early morning or evening hike. Read story.

Rattlesnake Canyon Trail

Rattlesnake Canyon serpentines its way up into the Santa Ynez Mountains, its name appropriate: the gently curving canyon has the shape of a rattler sunbathing on a deserted sand bar. Though it is actually a tributary of Mission Creek, it has a character and a history all its own. Read story.

Red Rock Loop

The Best Pools and Lots of Them!

The Red Rock Trail provides not only an enjoyable 3-4 hour hike, but provides you with some of the best swimming holes on the river. You can head in either direction on this loop though I tend to take the high road in and return along the river. Read story.

Reyes Peak Hike

High Country Views Atop Pine Mountain and a Mellow Day Hike

With views in either direction on this day hike and massive sandstone boulders giving a feeling of being on top of the world, there is no better place to get out into what some would call a "real forest" - the big pines. Read story.

Romero Canyon Trail

A picturesque canyon with loop possibilities.

A picturesque canyon with loop possibilities and great views from the crest make this a wonderful hike. Read story.

Romero Edison Road

Though not a trail it provides great views and an excellent connector.

For hikers who would like to experience the feeling of a walk along the upper edges of Montecito, where you can look down on the coastline from a lofty perch nearly 1200' in elevation above the valley floor, the route up to the Buena Vista lookout provides just such an experience. Read story.

San Antonio Creek Trail

A Great Place to Take Kids

Looking for an easy introductory hike for the kids, the San Antonio Creek Trail is almost level and provides plenty of places to play. Read story.

Snyder Trail

From Either the Top or Bottom, A Nice trail to Hike

Snyder Trail provides a long hike, especially for those who are staying at Sage Hill. The trailhead is just a few hundred yards before you reach the Los Prietos Ranger Station where this camp is located. Read story.

Stevens Park

A trail that every kid will love

The hike begins at the upper end of the park where the grass gives way to a wide dirt path which is very easy for even the youngest of children to walk on. Almost immediately you are immersed in canyon vegetation with oak trees and sycamore trees your companions. Read story.

Tangerine Falls

Best Waterfall in the Santa Barbara Area

For those who love big waterfalls and scenic spots, when the water is running, Tangerine Falls is the best. You'll find this delicious waterfall at the end of a tantalizing scramble up a beautiful canyon. Read story.

Tequepis Dayhike

Verdant Trail Named After a Chumash Village

Turn off the Chumash Highway for a vigorous half-day of hiking with profusely beautiful flora and stupendous views. Read story.

The Rock Garden

A Loop Hike to Die For; Though Challenging It Leads to Unimagined Inspiration

A combination of both trail hiking and off-trail scrambling, you'll climb a fantastic ridge that leads to awe-inspiring sandstone. Read story.

Unforgettable Hikes

S.B. County Trekking

Santa Barbara's diverse habitats make for some interesting hikes. With the Santa Ynez Mountains virtually descending into the ocean and the Channel Islands National Park an hour's boat ride away, you can disappear into a wealth of ecosystems teeming with freshwater springs, riparian corridors, and majestic sand dunes. Here are three hikes you'll never forget. (Be sure to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, lunch, and a camera.) Read story.

Upper Manzana Creek Trail

The Three Mile Hike to Fish Creek is Just Right

The upper Manzana Trail leads 6 miles to Manzana Narrows where it connects with the White Ledge Trail and is an important thoroughfare for back packers heading into the San Rafael Wilderness. Just 3 miles upstream is Fish Creek - an excellent short hike, especially nice for young children. Read story.

Upper Romero Trail Loop

If you like great views, you'll love this trail. The route follows Romero Road for 1.5 miles down towards until it intersects the Romero Trail, then follows this up to the top of the mountains. Though you will have a steep hike to the crest, once there you'll feel like you are on top of the world. Read story.

hot springs

Though not an official trail today, the Middle Fork Trail follows the historic route up to the crest and into a delightful canyon. There is even a scramble route to the crest if you've got the energy to make it that far. Read story.

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