Santa Barbara

Hikes in Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez.

Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez

There are so many trails in Santa Barbara County it’s tough to know where to start. If beach trails like the Aniso Trail aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other front country trails that can get your heart racing. […]

Blue Canyon Trail

Named after the bluish serpentine that lines the canyon, the Blue Canyon Trail runs alongside Forbush Creek to a handful of oak and sycamore groves that double as camping sites. This particular trail entry ends at Upper Blue Canyon Camp, […]

San Ysidro

There are few worthwhile point-to-point hikes along the Central Coast and fewer listed in this book because they’re a chore to plan and require two vehicles and a hiking companion, or somebody who is willing to pick you up at […]

Montecito Overlook

There are many routes to the Montecito Overlook area, but this one is definitely the quickest way to that magnificent vantage point perched 2,500 feet above the Santa Barbara coastline. But while the descent to the lookout, via the Cold […]

Montecito Peak

While taking the hike to the Montecity Outlook, there’s a half-mile spur to Montecito Peak located on the south side of the Cold Springs Saddle Trail near the one-mile mark. This steep trail is not regularly maintained and is not […]

Seven Falls

This Santa Barbara trail uses many of the same directions as Inspiration Point, but some consider Seven Falls a better alternative because it follows a technical single track upstream to a handful of pools filled by bubbling cascades. While the […]

Inspiration Point

The name says it all. The views from Santa Barbara’s Inspiration Point are inspirational to say the least. And making the hike all the way to the overlook point is quite exhilarating. The trail starts on a service road and […]

Knapp’s Castle

Knapp’s Castle isn’t exactly a palace anymore, but the mile-long hike to its ruins is a fun getaway for hiking couples looking for a nice place to picnic and overlook the Santa Ynez River Valley. Brick arches, entryways and chimneys […]

Painted Cave

Located just south of Knapp’s Castle along Highway 154, Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is probably California’s smallest state park. But it packs a historical punch with a sandstone cave that houses ancient religious drawings by Chumash Native Americans. […]

Santa Ynez River fishing

The Santa Ynez River can be a fun retreat for Central Coast anglers, once they get a handle on the fishing regulations. While the river and its tributaries downstream from Bradbury Dam at Lake Cachuma are closed to fishing, the […]

Gibraltar Reservoir

Many people have never even heard of Gibraltar Dam, let alone hiked or ridden there. The dam was constructed from 1914-1920 on the Santa Ynez River, creating the basin, Gibraltar Reservoir, that provides water for Santa Barbara. The reservoir is […]

Figueroa Lookout

The pinnacle of the Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area, this fire road trail is a fun ride by foot, mountain bike or horseback, stopping at the Pino Alto Nature Trail and climbing up to the Figueroa Lookout, offering panoramic views of […]

Ballard Camp Trail

Ballard Camp Trail

Ballard Camp Trail, part of the La Jolla Trail, is a steep single track that descends quickly to the canyon floor where a spring-fed stream runs past an old California Conservation Corps cabin and a pair of campsites. It’s an […]

Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area

There are dozens of hikes in the Figueroa Mountain region. The Ballard Camp Trail is one of the least traveled routes, although it is rewarding trip for backpackers. The Davy Brown Trail is probably the most popular path in the […]

Aniso Trail: Refugio to El Capitán bike path in Goleta

Better known as the Refugio to El Capitán bike path in Goleta, the Aniso Trail is said to be an old route the Chumash used to reach what is now the Santa Barbara coast. Aniso is a Chumash word for […]