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Santa Barbara Hikes

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls

[out of 5]
 *  *  * 1/2
For:Agility required, difficult rock climb, primitive trail

3 Pools and 7 Falls are probably the most fun of all the Tunnel Trail hikes. Neither is easy, but both are fun because of the opportunity to go for a dip in the creek. Most people in some kind of decent shape can handle these hikes, but because of the rock hopping (and for 3 Pools there is a very difficult rock to climb) most people end up a little sore the next day.

The trail begins on a paved access road that the Edison Company uses. After a mile the road turns to dirt and you follow it just a little more toward the turnoff to Inspiration Pt. Instead of going to Inspiration Pt, you turn right and head up a very steep trail that takes you above 7 Falls and back down to the creek again to a wonderful, deep series of pools, one of which is popular for daredevil, feet first jumping from a 15 ft. cliff.

The hike is about 3 or 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 ft.

Please note: Parking at the trailhead is limited and strict. You must park behind the white line or else they really do ticket and tow. It is a congested neighborhood and parking within the white line helps emergency vehicles get through. Please be courteous to car traffic as you walk up and down the road and let residents get through. Please keep dogs on leash because there is a flock of free-range chickens that lives in the area. Residents have been pretty vocal about the traffic and safety issues in the area and your courtesy will keep the trailhead open.

Boulder, CO Leave No Trace Frountcountry program

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls Updates

Update trail conditions

Posted: June 25, 2015, 8:31 pm
by: BillF

Hiked to the 3 pools 6/24/15. The lower pool of the 3 is completely dry. The middle pool has some stagnant water. The upper pool has running water going into the pool. The level is about 6 feet down from the overflow level. There are quite a few snakes and salamanders in the pool along with several sticks and branches. backpack

Posted: May 14, 2013, 9:53 pm
by: alfns74214

Pictures of the Status of the trail 5/7/13

Posted: May 14, 2013, 7:38 pm
by: alfns74214

Hiked 3 Pools/7 Falls on 5/7/13
The bottom pools are pretty dry and filled with stagnate water with back-swimmers and salamanders. The top three pools remain active and filled with water. I went for a few jumps in the deepest pool. Hike worth more than the elevation change. Anyone that enjoys jumping into cool water should definitely check this hike out.Please don't be discouraged by the water level at the bottom as the top still has plenty.

Posted: August 7, 2011, 11:14 pm
by: Cross Tie Walker

Hiked 3 Pools/7 Falls today; amazing how much water is still in the creek.

Mission Creek Pools. Cold.

The flow is low, but the pools are all full (and clear) to the brim, and *cold*. Even the pool at the Mission Creek/Jesusita/Cathedral crossing was ~4' deep.

Use trails are full of PO; watch your step. Rock-hopping up and back is probably the safer route right now if you're susceptible.

Some photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/sets/72157627382511568/


Posted: June 9, 2011, 3:17 pm
by: bencoffee

Was just up at the top of 7 Falls on Saturday,June 4th, 2011. The water is at a great level, and the vegetation is lush. Watch out for poison oak! It's stunning out there, great time of year for a hike to 7 Falls. backpack

Posted: May 31, 2011, 3:45 pm
by: peacock

In past years, the creek to the pools was dry, this year it has water.

Last year, the top pool, had lots of rocks and sediment and the depth was around 4 feet.

This year the sediment is gone and the depth is back to around 10 to 13 feet.

Posted: August 17, 2010, 1:32 am
by: Cross Tie Walker

Hiked 7 Falls/3 Pools this morning (Monday, 8/16/2010), dry all the way from the bridge until just past the Jesusita Trail crossing. Pools were pretty stagnant (especially the lower), but still enough water for a shallow dip.

Some pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/sets/72157624743071390/ backpack

Posted: May 16, 2010, 7:26 pm
by: peacock

7 people hike today to Three Pools. The pools are filled with rocks and sand. The depth is three to four feet. It seems previous depth was 10 feet or more.

We had the idea to organize a group to bring buckets and dredge the top pool. Daniel began to remove rocks and found a gelatin mass of newt eggs underneath a rock. See photo:

We realized a simple project like this has an environmental impact. Dan put the rock back in the pool.

Posted: March 28, 2010, 5:58 pm
by: bboe

I did this hike yesterday for the first time. It was a beautiful day and we decided to go up the creek all the way from the bridge. There was a decent water flow the entire way with many salamanders. The mountain side most of the way is very green, though with many skeletons of burnt trees. It was quite surreal.

Posted: January 24, 2010, 9:07 pm
by: Haddy

My first but definitely not the last time. Really a fun hike and since it was raining the entire last week the creek had quite a bit of water.
Since the fire burned the entire area down the exact trail (the part that is not in the creek) is kind of hard to follow but to find back to it is not a big deal.

Everybody who had been there before kept saying that the pools are definitely deep enough to jump in. WRONG!!! I don't know if the hard rain caused it but a lot of sediments (sand and gravel) got washed into the pools so jumping without checking the depth (because you might have done it before) is not advisable. Using the fall as a slide is possible and recommended, its fun.

I was wearing my Vibram Fivefingers, which was a lot of fun. No worries about stepping into the water and perfect grip on the rocks ... a trail made for these shoes. Any kind of water shoe is in general not a bad idea. backpack