Jump to main content

Santa Barbara Hikes

Aliso Canyon Trail

Aliso Canyon Trail

Rating:
[out of 5]
 *  *  *
For:Hilly if you do the whole loop
Lupine below cliff on Aliso Canyon Loop trail
Lupine below cliff on Aliso Canyon Loop trail

This trail has been burned up by the Rey Fire. I don't know when it will be open again.

Aliso Canyon Trail is the place to go to see pretty spring flowers. The saturation on Figueroa Mountain may be greater, but the variety here cannot be matched. It's possible in a good year to see just about every kind of flower that blooms in spring in Santa Barbara all at the same time.

Flowers like Chinese Houses, Blue Dicks, Fairy Lanterns, Mariposa Lillies and many many many more. I have even seen the mysterios Chocolate Lily.

The hike is a loop, about 4.5 miles long with some climbing, so I would rate it as moderate if you are in decent condition. But you aren't obligated to do it as a loop. You can opt to stay along the creek in the shade and avoid the upper, hilly section. Either way, if it's spring, there will be flowers all along the way.

You will need an Adventure PassPass to park.

Boulder, CO Leave No Trace Frountcountry program

Add update

Please add a brief update about trail conditions. All comments are moderated and will not display until approved, which can take days if I'm away on the trail.


(not displayed)


Updates


Hiked this trail with a family of five yesterday and quite enjoyed it. The trail itself is in pretty good shape although several of the trail signs are down from the prior fire and have not been repaired (though you hardly need them). The vegetation is slowly recovering from the fire, always interesting to see how nature claws back. We went on a week day and not a soul was out there. Only two campers in the campground. Note that resurfacing is being done on the Paradise road so you may need to wait up to 20 minutes or so to go from 154 to the ranger station as it is one way and you must follow a pilot car.
Posted by: lestergb  on  2015-06-18
The December 2014 rains did some minor damage to the Aliso Cyn trail. Apparently, quite a bit of water flowed in Aliso Creek and there are several slides. But no barrier to a nice hike. The Aliso Loop trail suffered some more serious damage about 200 ft from the start. Still hikeable. However, if we get much more heavy rain, this small portion of the trail may need rebuilding.
Posted by: GerryC  on  2015-01-01
Hiked this trail today with a friend. There was a wildfire along Paradise Road at the end of May 2013, so this entire hike is now through scorched terrain. It's still beautiful - walking through fields of ash and through the charred remains of chaparral feels like being on a barren alien landscape (or Mordor!) - but don't go expecting to see any greenery. There are signs that the vegetation is starting to grow back, though that might take a while if the weather stays as dry as it's been. In fact, I would recommend going before the vegetation really starts to take over again, just to see what it's like.
Posted by: Sebastian  on  2014-02-23
Hiked the Aliso Canyon Loop today with my daughter and one of the dogs. Lower (interpretive) trail is in great shape, with a tiny bit of water there at the third crossing with the reeds (stagnant). Otherwise, the entire draw was bone-dry. Upper trail has one or two very minor slides along the talus ascent, but nothing at all impeding progress. It's in great shape overall and shows signs of recent trailwork. Weather was great; overcast and tad muggy with no wind to speak of. [i:174b51bf90]NB:[/i:174b51bf90] At the end of the interpretive trail, the final marker instructs the hiker that "if you choose to take the Loop Trail, go back across the creek to the trail junction." This isn't accurate; you're on the trail at this point and there's no back-tracking necessary. I can only surmise the terminus of the interpretive trail was somewhere across the creek when the brochures were printed in 1993. Some photos at [url]http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/sets/72157625212980889/[/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/5157409462/][img:174b51bf90]http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1112/5157409462_07c412b28a.jpg[/img:174b51bf90][/url] [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/5157409462/]G and Lilly[/url]
Posted by: Cross Tie Walker  on  2010-11-08
Just to let you know, the sign posts for the nature trail have been updated. Each of the sign posts has the number from the brochure. Additionally, each of the posts has the appropriate portion of the brochure attached so you do not need to carry a brochure with you. Enjoy.
Posted by: douglasdodge  on  2009-09-25
The Aliso trail loop is in fine condition (March 2009), except for a rock slide above the switchback on the lower trail leaving the creek. I imagine horses might be spooked there, but perhaps a mule would be OK. The interpretive trail numbers are wearing off and we could find no fliers anyway so this service appears neglected. The trail down into Upper Oso from the 4-way junction is a veritable highway, unlike the more primitive trail heading north up the cliffs. The upper section is in bad shape and quite out of character with the rest of the hike, unless you like a “Jekyll and Hyde” experience. It is eroded with steep, sandy slides and hard to pick out at times. The top of the ridge sees little traffic judging by the heavy brush, although there are rock carvings going back many years.
Posted by: Rokrover  on  2009-03-02