Romero Canyon Road

Los Padres National Forest, California 93067

Elevation Gain5,853ft
Trailhead Elevation935ft
Elevation Min/Max935/3140ft
Elevation Start/End935/935ft

Romero Canyon Road

Romero Canyon Road is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Santa Barbara County, California. It is within Los Padres National Forest. It is 7.9 miles long and begins at 935 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 13.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,853 feet. Near the trailhead there is a water tank. This trail connects with the following: Romero West.

Romero Canyon Road Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Romero Canyon Trail follows Romero Creek up a narrow, secluded, shady canyon past pools and a waterfall. The hike returns on scenic Romero Canyon Road, an old fire road overlooking the canyon and coastline."

"Romero Canyon is the most easterly of the delightful Santa Ynez Mountain trails back of Santa Barbara. Oaks and sycamores shade a year-round creek and a tranquil path. One meaning of romero in Spanish is “pilgrim” and pilgrims of several levels of hiking ability will enjoy a walk through Romero Canyon. Families with small children will enjoy sauntering along its lower creekside stretches. More serious hikers will utilize fire roads to make a moderately graded loop through the canyon, while hikers in top form will trek all the way to Camino Cielo, which offers sweeping views from the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains."

"Romero Road has become a popular bicycle route. One of the few front range trails that is rideable uphill, it provides a good route to the Santa Barbara backcountry with connections to the major roads and trails. Since most of this trail is within 3 miles of the beach, the views south over the coast to the ocean and the Channel Islands are especially good. The south-facing slopes provide little shade but ocean breezes moderate the high temperatures."

"This out-and-back, 13.8-mile round-trip is an uphill workout. The climb to the turnaround point is long and moderately difficult. The road is steep for the first half-mile and then moderate after the second creek crossing. The return is fast and technically demanding. Romero Road is unmaintained and has been closed to motor vehicles since the 1970s. at times it seems like a road, and at other times it narrows to a singletrack trail. The singletrack sections are generally rough with loose and embedded rocks. The dirt road sections are in fair condition with some loose rocks. Excellent ocean views are a bonus as you grind it out to reach the top."

"The steady climb up the Romero Canyon Road offers dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline, as well as a rewarding panorama of the magnificent northern mountain ranges when you get to the top of the course. Early portions of the climb are under canopies of shrubbery and feature seasonal wildflowers. The course is rocky in some areas. East Camino Cielo, a paved road, is at the top in case you want to shorten the run and make it a point-to-point course. On a clear day, bring a camera to this Santa Barbara favorite."

"Located in Montecito, a few exits south of Santa Barbara. Highlights: This happens to be one of our favorite trails, primarily because one of us proposed to his wife while standing on the bluffs overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The trail has rainforest-like qualities and majestic views looking over Santa Barbara. Hazards: On your way down, beware of up-hill riders and watch your speed over some gnarly technical sections."

"This fairly strenuous transect of Romero Canyon climbs 3.5 miles along the lush riparian Romero Trail, topping out at the east end of Camino Cielo Road, and then makes a long S-shaped drop back to the bottom of the canyon."

"Romero Trail has become a popular bicycle route. One of the few front range trails which is rideable uphill, it provides a good route to the Santa Barbara backcountry with connections to the major roads and trails. Since most of this trail is within 3 miles of the beach, the view south over the coast to the ocean and the Channel Islands is especially good. The south-facing slopes providing little shade, but ocean breezes moderate the high summer temperatures."

"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."

Romero Canyon Road Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon5 Total
This trail is bad @$!*%! You can take a few different routes depending on the difficulty you want. The fire road goes up ~7 miles, however at the 4 mile marker you can choose to take the single track down back to your car. If you blackout and ride to the top accidently you have the choice of continuing a bit further up and taking another single track all the way down. This route meets up with the fire road exactly at the point where the lower single track begins. If you are an experienced rider with both endurance and technical skills I'd recommend going up to the top and taking the single track the entire way down. The lower single track route is very technical at some parts and is a complete rock garden the entire way down. At the top you will have some amazing views.
This is a great way to show yourself how out of shape you are! This trail while gorgeous is just straight uphill. The first 1/2 mile being very steep then the rest of the trail going moderately steep. Flat ground almost seems like a downhill treat. You start on a fireroad from the trailhead until you pass a blue gate on your right where the doubletrack begins. The view here is great of the mountains. You climb climb climb and have amazing views of mountains and ocean. Once you soak it all in. Head down the way you came. USE BRAKES OFTEN. lots of hikers and other bikers coming up the hill so unfortunately you can't really bomb down the thing with all the blind corners. All in all a great view ride a great training run. you must love to uphill if you do this trail. It's worth it.
Beautiful view but kind of a boring trail. It gets a bit loose in parts. It is a 6.5 mile climb up and you just simply return the same way. Beware of all the grouchy hikers. For some reason in Santa Barbara hikers have a chip on their shoulder against bikers so be polite and slow down for everyone.
We left early afternoon and the temp was getting up there so bring water. Really fun ride, not to steep in most places but lots of rockslides. Some breathtaking views and dropoffs so watch your foot clips.
Great trail, but traffic can be a problem. Lots of hikers and riders on the weekend. Watch out on those blind corners. I like to take the road/trail all the way up to east camino cielo and take a needed rest on the water tower at the top. Great views of both the ocean and interior valley from there. About halfway down (and up for that matter) there is an intersection of 2 trails. For a more difficult descent take the one on your right as ou come down otherwise go sraight ahead and go back the way you came. Either way you end up a the same place. I would say it is a moderatley techinical trail, maybe a little more if you tack the harder section.

Romero Canyon Road Photos

Trail Information

Los Padres National Forest
Nearby City
Los Padres National Forest
USDA Forest Service, Los Padres National Forest; (805) 967-3481; Montecito Trails Foundation; (805) 568-0833
Local Contacts
USGS Carpinteria
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018