Little Pine Mountain

Santa Barbara, California 93105

Little Pine Mountain

Little Pine Mountain Professional Review and Guide

"This is an excellent ride for the strong cyclist who wants a good workout as well as great views and it's strenuous. The first 1.5 miles provide a good warm-up with easy to moderate climbing and some shade. From this point you'll face ten miles of moderately steep to steep climbing toward the road's crest. This long exposed climb is broken up by some easier stretches and some short descents. all of the cycling is on unpaved four-wheel-drive roads in generally good condition. Good bike handling technique is necessary for climbing and descending over intermittently loose and soft surfaces. Rounding a bend after 5.5 miles you will see the chalk bluffs on Little Pine Mountain and the long, exposed switchbacks that you'll be climbing soon. Riding up the switchbacks provides an outstanding view. leave your bike at Happy Hollow Camp and follow the hiking trail to the west one-quarter mile for another great vista. The return descent is a thrill."

More Little Pine Mountain Professional Reviews and Guides

"Santa Cruz Trail presents a lengthy climb, but rewards the hiker with a superb view of the Channel Islands and the Pacific. The trail tops Little Pine Mountain, an ecological island of conifers that one might expect to find only in the High Sierra. Another of this day hike’s destinations, ponderosa pine-shaded Happy Hollow Camp, tucked between Little Pine Mountain and a sister peak, is appropriately named. Hikers can work up quite a sweat while ascending the hot, exposed slope of Little Pine Mountain. Start trekking in the cool of the morning when the trail is shadowed and enjoy your lunch at the top beneath the boughs of a big cone spruce. An ocean breeze usually keeps the mountaintop cool."

Little Pine Mountain Reviews

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The trail starts out on a fire road and transtioned to a well defined single track trail that takes you all the way to the summit of Little Pine Mountain. It never got steep until a relatively short section as you make the final climb at the end. It's a fun hike with excellent views. At the top I could clearly see Lake Cachuma and the Channel Islands. Also, I managed to get pretty close three seperate times to some mule deer that were roaming the area with one of them walking right on the trail heading toward me until my trusty dachsund alerted him. Overall, this was a lengthy hike on a good trail that was well worth the climb.
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The premiere ride in Santa Barbara. Don't take the road back down though. Although the road is a blast to fly down, the single track is much better. Just before entering Happy Hollow look for a trail off to the right. This leads to a steep rocky section (relatively short) that is technically intermediate. At the bottom of this section there is a intersection, GO LEFT, towards upper oso. After this it is a great single track descent of mostly eginner/moderate stuff that winds through ridge lines and meadows until finally connecting with the road you took up. Turn right and head for the car. Take plenty of water. It can get very hot in the summer, and there is nowhere to pick up any water.

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Trail Information

Santa Barbara
Nearby City
3,300 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Early spring and late fall
1,200 feet
Trailhead Elevation
4,400 feet
Top Elevation
Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara Ranger District
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018