My Santa Barbara
       Hiking Guide
My Santa Barbara Hiking Guide

RECONNECT WITH THE BEAUTY OF NATURE ON SANTA BARBARA’S MANY SCENIC TRAILS

RECONNECT WITH THE BEAUTY OF NATURE ON SANTA BARBARA’S MANY SCENIC TRAILS

 

When I’m home in Santa Barbara, one of my favorite things to do is grab my dog Ginger and hit the trail. Being active outdoors while enjoying the natural beauty of Santa Barbara never fails to make me feel present and serene. I’m grateful to live in this gorgeous corner of the world, and I think it’s so important to get out there and experience it.

Santa Barbara County is nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, along a south-facing coastline that enjoys a mild, Mediterranean micro-climate. The relatively warm winters and cool summers make the outdoors irresistible year-round, while the area’s hikes are among the most scenic in the world, featuring breathtaking ocean vistas, plummeting waterfalls, and quiet stone canyons. To help you unplug on your next visit to town, I’ve shared six of my favorite walks in the region.

 

hike1

Inspiration Point
Tunnel Road Loop:
Elevation: 800 ft
Distance: 3.75 mi
Jesusita Trail Loop:
Elevation: 1400 ft Distance: 7.1 mi
Intensity: Medium or High
There are two ways to get up to
Inspiration Point. The trail that begins at
Tunnel Road is one of the most popular exercise routes in
Santa Barbara, allowing you to reach the summit and get back to your car in
just under four miles. If you have a bit more time though, go see the sites
along Jesusita Trail. This path crosses a nice diversity of landscapes, winding
over a creek and through a field with sprawling mountain range views.
hike2

Ennisbrook Trail
Elevation: 150 ft
Full Loop 1.85 Miles
Intensity: Low

Ennisbrook Trail is my go-to for a
quick, leisurely stroll near my home
in Montecito. I like to come here first thing in the morning or sometimes, to break
up and energize my work day. Through the lush woods of the San Ysidro Creek
Preserve, the trail takes you across charming stone bridges and beneath canopies
of curving oak trees. Little-to-no uphill climbing also makes it great for a jog.

 

hike3

Nojoqui Falls
Elevation: 175 ft
Full Loop: .65 miles
Intensity: Low
This hike only takes 20 minutes,
perfect if you have limited time but need
a restorative break. The trail leads through
the forrest to a picturesque 80-ft waterfall
cascading down a moss-coated cliffside.
The path begins and ends in a park that contains playing fields
and picnic tables, great for a post-hike bite.
hike4

Montecito Peak
Elevation: 3,214 ft
Distance: 7.1 miles
Intensity: High
Montecito Peak is one of the 
highest summits in the Santa Ynez
Mountains, and offers truly spectacular views of the coastal
cities to the south and the wine country to the north. This is a serious trek you’ll
want to allot at least half the day to—not only because of the distance, but the
three-thousand foot ascent. Don’t worry—glimpses of what’s to come will keep
you going along the way.
hike5

McMenemy
Trail

Tunnel Road Loop:
Elevation: 650 ft
Distance: 3.7 miles
Intensity: Medium
If I want a good workout, but don’t
necessarily have all day, I’ll take this moderate hike through 
the Los Padres National Forest behind Montecito. Encompassing several
trails, the loop takes less than two hours and features gorgeous ocean views.
Expect a few rugged uphill climbs—though nothing too crazy. A stone
bench at 1.4 miles offers a nice point to stop and stretch it out.
hike1
Inspiration Point
Tunnel Road Loop:
Elevation: 800 ft Distance: 3.75 mi
Jesusita Trail Loop:
Elevation: 1400 ft Distance: 7.1 mi
Intensity: Medium or High
There are two ways to get up to Inspiration Point. The trail that begins at Tunnel Road is one of the most popular exercise routes in Santa Barbara, allowing you to reach the summit and get back to your car in just under four miles. If you have a bit more time though, go see the sites along Jesusita Trail. This path crosses a nice diversity of landscapes, winding over a creek and through a field with sprawling mountain range views.

hike2
Ennisbrook Trail
Elevation: 150 ft
Full Loop 1.85 Miles
Intensity: Low
Ennisbrook Trail is my go-to for a quick, leisurely stroll near my home in Montecito. I like to come here first thing in the morning or sometimes, to break up and energize my work day. Through the lush woods of the San Ysidro Creek Preserve, the trail takes you across charming stone bridges and beneath canopies of curving oak trees. Little-to-no uphill climbing also makes it great for a jog.

hike3
Nojoqui Falls
Elevation: 175 ft
Full Loop: .65 miles
Intensity: Low
This hike only takes 20 minutes, perfect if you have limited time but need a restorative break. The trail leads through the forrest to a picturesque 80-ft waterfall cascading down a moss-coated cliffside. The path begins and ends in a park that contains playing fields and picnic tables, great for a post-hike bite.

hike4
Montecito Peak
Elevation: 3,214 ft
Distance: 7.1 miles
Intensity: High
Montecito Peak is one of the highest summits in the Santa Ynez Mountains, and offers truly spectacular views of the coastal cities to the south and the wine country to the north. This is a serious trek you’ll want to allot at least half the day to—not only because of the distance, but the three-thousand foot ascent. Don’t worry—glimpses of what’s to come will keep you going along the way.

hike5
McMenemy
Trail

Tunnel Road Loop:
Elevation: 650 ft
Distance: 3.7 miles
Intensity: Medium
If I want a good workout, but don’t necessarily have all day, I’ll take this moderate hike through the Los Padres National Forest behind Montecito. Encompassing several trails, the loop takes less than two hours and features gorgeous ocean views. Expect a few rugged uphill climbs—though nothing too crazy. A stone bench at 1.4 miles offers a nice point to stop and stretch it out.

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