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Santa Barbara has some of the best hiking anywhere, and lots of it!
Lots of hiking trails are listed here with maps, topos and directions to the trailhead. Print out what you need and take it with you.
Latest Hiking Adventures and Information
Diane's Big Adventures
Trail Report and Grass Mountain
I watched Ray Ford's trail report on Facebook. Ray Ford says he is a reporter. While he might be good at the who, the why and the how, he tends to leave out most of the what. So at the end of his slides someone finally asked him to list the trails that were affected. Even then I think I was confused by the answer a bit. From what I can tell, the following trails are completely destroyed and will take years and lots of money to rebuild (though my theory is that social trails will form before any of that ever happens)
- Buena Vista
- Cold Springs
- Franklin Trail
- San Ysidro
- Westfork of Cold Springs and Tangerine Falls
- Alder Creek (the back side of Franklin Trail)
- Tequepis -- This one was burned last July.
Trails that are probably okay or that I'm not sure if they are okay, but you can't get to them because of road closures:
- Little Caliente (Maybe destroyed? I was confused in the discussion.)
- Aliso Canyon Trail is okay but I think maybe the access is closed. I may be wrong.
- Blue Canyon Trail is okay but East Camino Cielo is closed as of this post.
- Forbush Flat Trail is okay but East Camino Cielo is closed as of this post.
- Indian Creek Trail maybe is okay but East Camino Cielo is closed as of this post.
- Little Pine/19 Oaks Trail was burned in a previous fire. 19 Oaks is okay but Little Pine isn't. I think right now the access is unavailable because Upper Oso is closed.
Just because these trails are closed doesn't mean there still aren't lots of trails to hike! Santa Barbara Hikes lists about 44 local hikes, but that's not nearly all of them. One place I don't describe much are the trails off of Figueroa Mountain Road. One of them is the hike to Grass Mountain.
The hike to Grass Mountain begins from the Midland School property on Figueroa Mountain Road. If you want to do this hike you need a permit, which you can obtain either in a box at the trailhead or here. The box was empty of permits when we hiked the trail.
The hike up to Grass Mountain is very steep. It's not a very good trail. It is straight up the side and prone to erosion. It appears that long ago there may have been switchbacks. It would be better if someone put switchbacks in again.
It's a beautiful area near Figueroa Mountain and a physical challenge that attracts a lot of hikers. We hiked to the top, then continued on to the road and parking area on the side of Zaca Peak. There were great views of the Santa Ynez Valley. You could see the ocean, the "elbow of California" at Pt. Conception, the Santa Maria Valley and all the way up the coast to the port of San Luis.
Along the way we saw a pair of bald eagles, an adult and a juvenile. Like seagulls, the young ones are darker for several years. Here's a picture of the adult:
We also took a picture before heading back down. Grass Mountain is so steep it looks like we're standing near a cliff.
Midland School Resources, including a trail map.
Government Shutdown: What Happens to the Los Padres?
19 Jan, 2018
Backpacking Made Easy
08 Feb, 2018
Trail Quest: Yellow Banks, Santa Cruz Island
05 Feb, 2018