Best Easy Day Hikes Santa Barbara  by Bryn Fox

Best Easy Day Hikes Santa Barbara Guide Book

by Bryn Fox (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Santa Barbara  by Bryn Fox
The hardest thing about hiking in Santa Barbara is likely not finding a place to hike but narrowing down the options. In this book you will find twenty hikes, all within a short drive of town. Most hikes can be reached in less than fifteen minutes from downtown, with a few additional options a short ways up or down the coast in either direction. And every hike in this book can be done in a few hours or less.

© 2009 Bryn Fox/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes Santa Barbara" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 20.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 20.

Beginning with a 1-mile interpretive trail where you can learn about the area’s flora and fauna as it pertained to the Chumash Indians, this loop trail climbs steadily through Aliso Canyon, eventually peaking just beyond a meadow. The trail then meanders down the other side of the canyon, with views of Oso Canyon to the south. Aliso Canyon is a great place to view wildflowers. Though nearby Figueroa Mountain is a better known spot for wildflower enthusiasts, Aliso Canyon offers an equally impressive variety.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
Amidst the rolling terrain of Gaviota State Park, the Beach to Backcountry Trail winds its way up a ridge through hillsides covered in wildflowers to large sandstone caves with views of the Pacific. After dropping down behind the caves, you will begin a short descent into a completely different environment—wooded trails hidden under heavy tree cover. Here the trail intersects a network of other trails traversing the park.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.4
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This nature walk travels through a 230-acre salt marsh. As one of the last remaining coastal estuaries in California, this thriving ecosystem is home to a variety of native plants, animals, and sea life. At the start of your walk, you will find yourself just a stone’s throw away from a strip of beach that touts itself as the safest swimming beach in the world. The Carpinteria salt marsh is one of the last remaining coastal estuaries in California. This unique wetland, where salt water and fresh water meet, yields ideal conditions for certain plants and animals. More than 190 species of birds, 37 species of fish, and 11 species of mammals have been observed here.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 1.2
This creekside hike climbs up the east side of Cold Spring Canyon alongside a number of cascades, waterfalls, and swimming holes before traversing up the canyon and emerging atop the canyon ridge to sweeping views from the Montecito Overlook.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
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Seventy acres of land overlooking the Pacific provide numerous options for walks and runs. The preserve can be accessed from various points and is dog friendly, with many off-leash areas. Native plants and birds add to the serenity here, making this a very special place for peaceful walks. The Douglas Family Preserve sits atop seventy acres of wooded land above Arroyo Burro Beach. This land, formerly known as the Wilcox property, was slated for development until the local community, with the help of celebrity Michael Douglas, stepped in to save it in 1997.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking,Walking - Trail Length: 1.6
This peaceful, shady preserve contains a large network of trails leading into one of the largest monarch butterfly preserves in California and then continuing on to beachside bluffs. Once at the bluffs, hike down to the beach for a day at one of Santa Barbara’s most peaceful strips of sand.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
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From the heart of Montecito, this flat nature walk is a brief stroll through history. Across old stone bridges and along a butterfly preserve, you can meander along the oaks, taking brief trips through the exclusive Ennisbrook neighborhood. An excellent spot for bird-watchers, here you can see warbling vireos and Pacific Slope flycatchers.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
This short hike marks the beginning of the longer trek up Gaviota Peak. After a 0.5-mile uphill climb, you are rewarded with a small cluster of natural hot springs where you can soak your worries away in the sulfur pools. Head farther to summit 2,000-foot-high Gaviota Peak, or use this as your turnaround point for a pleasant, family-friendly hike. The highest peak in the area, Gaviota Peak stands at 2,458 feet, towering over Gaviota Beach below with views down the coast. The hike all the way up to the peak does offer excellent views of the area if you are up for a challenging uphill trek. But for those looking for an easier, more family- friendly adventure, the Gaviota Hot Springs, a short ways up the trail to the peak, make a lovely destination. Begin your hike at the locked gate at the end of the parking area. Walk up the dirt road beyond the gate. At 0.2 mile the trail intersects the Tunnel View and Trespass Trail on your right. Stay left on the main trail.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking,Scenic Drives - Trail Length: 1
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This easily accessible hike starts close to the center of town and quickly rises up a well-marked trail. It traverses through chaparral and sandstone walls before emerging atop Inspiration Point with views of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean, and the coastline
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
This relatively flat hike meanders through forested areas and meadows as it follows the path of Oso Creek. The hike climbs gently uphill, connecting the Lower Oso Day Use Area with the Upper Oso Campground. This makes for a nice stroll for those camping in the area. Beginning from the Lower Oso Campground, walk up Romero Camuesa Road. At the far end of the campground, Paradise Road continues straight toward Red Rocks. Romero Camuesa Road is the road that branches off to the left. If you were to drive up this road, it would take you up to the Upper Oso Campground.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
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This scenic lollipop hike traverses the foothills of Montecito on sections of four different trails. After crossing San Ysidro Creek, the trail climbs uphill to a lookout point at a large stone bench. A steep ascent will lead you up to the Saddlerock Trail before meeting with the Girard Trail for a long, winding downhill trek.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.3
Despite the daunting name, the hike through Rattlesnake Canyon is actually quite a peaceful one. You are no more likely to see a rattlesnake here than on any other trail in the area. A shady refuge on a sunny day, this trail winds its way up Rattlesnake Canyon, loosely following the creek for a gradual uphill to Tin Can Meadow. From here you can take in the view and retrace your steps home or continue onto the Tunnel Connector Trail to hike into the Santa Ynez Mountains.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.3
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This hike begins at the Red Rocks day-use area and travels in a short ways to enticing yet sometimes crowded pools with rocks for cliff jumping and rocky beaches for sunbathing. Continue past this busy college hangout a short ways and you’ll find a number of options for even greater swimming holes without the crowds to contend with. A great thing about this hike is that you can make it as long or short as you want—there are perfect swimming holes along the entire trail. Whether you are looking for a rowdy pool party or a few cool laps in solitude, there is a swimming hole with your name on it at Red Rocks. The trail follows the Santa Ynez River, crossing it many times, so it is a good idea to do this hike in sport sandals or other shoes you don’t mind getting wet.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
This favorite local route begins with a short trip up a dirt access road before heading off the main trail onto a shaded singletrack. Follow the creek for a 2-mile uphill workout before merging back with the dirt road and returning on a long, meandering downhill with panoramic views of the Pacific. Initially developed by the Chumash Indians as a means of obtaining food and trade from over the mountain in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Romero Canyon Trail currently encompasses both a singletrack trail that follows the creek and a wide, flat, dirt access road that winds through the canyon above the creek.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
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This flat and peaceful trail begins at Tuckers Grove Park amidst baseball fields and picnic areas. It quickly leaves the crowd of the park and travels upstream along San Antonio Creek, meandering on a quiet trail through grassy meadows and under canopies of sycamore and oak trees.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
This hike takes you on a hefty uphill climb alongside San Ysidro Creek, passing a number of excellent swimming holes lined with flat rocks perfect for lounging. You can make it a short 2.0-mile hike to the best swimming hole and back or a 3.6-mile round-trip to a 60-foot waterfall.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
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Perhaps the most iconic stretch of land in all of Santa Barbara lies on the boardwalk, or beach path. This paved bike trail runs from Leadbetter Beach, past the harbor and the Santa Barbara Wharf, and ends at the beach volleyball mecca of East Beach.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
Easily accessible from the center of town, this flat and scenic trail begins at the hidden oasis of Stevens Neighborhood Park and takes you beneath sycamore canopies and through grassy meadows before connecting with a variety of trails. Many options are available here for an easy, pleasant day hike or a more challenging adventure. Amidst a pleasant residential area with wide streets and beautiful homes, Stevens Neighborhood Park, hidden in San Roque Canyon, provides a great opportunity to get into nature without ever leaving town. The trail begins at the end of the parking lot.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.5
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Beginning at the Cold Spring trailhead, this hike travels the west fork of the creek for a ways before branching off the main trail and following the middle fork. You will rock hop and climb your way up the creek past pools and cascades before arriving at the gorgeous 200-foot waterfall. Tangerine Falls is perhaps the most spectacular waterfall in the area. Almost 200 feet tall, the falls can be especially impressive after a big rain. The falls sits at the end of the middle fork of the Cold Spring Trail, which was the original route of the Cold Spring Road when it was used for traveling over the mountain. Although the site of the original route, it is no longer an established trail and can be somewhat difficult to follow at times. Increased usage over the years has helped form an unofficial trail. However, because there are some technical sections of boulder hopping that require coordination and a good grip, this trail is not recommended for small children.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
This blufftop hike traverses flat wooded trails directly above the beach. You’ll pass a harbor seal rookery where you can stop and watch the seals before heading onto a peaceful treelined path with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean below. The grassy overlook at the end of Calle Ocho is an excellent lookout point before you begin your hike. A set of stairs leads you down to the beach, where you can explore tidepools and see tar bubbling up through the surface of the sand—hence the name of the area. Thanks to the excellent waterproofing qualities of tar, when the Chumash Indians first came to this area, they used this particular spot to build boats. They nicknamed this spot Carpinteria, Spanish for “carpentry shop,” which is now the name of the city. Get a little sand between your toes, and then begin your hike back up top by taking the wide path on the left of the grassy area.
Santa Barbara, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
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