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Romero Canyon Trail

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For:Uphill, long if you go all the way to the top
Bush Poppies
Bush Poppies

Romero Canyon is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. The trail is shady and along a creek bed for the first half. There is a strong scent of bay laurel in the air. The creek almost always has plenty of water, making the first half of the hike a tranquil forest hike. Then about 2 miles up, there is a junction with a fire road. Mountain bikers often use this road because it offers a challenge without being a complete death trap. Follow the trail instead of the road for a challenging climb up and over the Santa Ynez range to East Camino Cielo Rd, which is a dirt road where the trail meets. Follow East Camino Cielo leftward to the water tower and follow the old fire road back down to the junction. Then choose to follow the shady trail or the interesting, shaley road back to the trailhead.

There are wonderful views of Montecito and the ocean from the summit of this trail, and sweeping vistas of the wild back country when you reach East Camino Cielo Rd. Keep your eyes open where the trail meets East Camino Cielo for a rusty sign announcing Romero Trail continuing down the hill into Blue Canyon, a nice destination for a backpack trip.

Algalita Research - Learn about the pelagic plastic problem

Romero Canyon Trail Updates

Update trail conditions

Posted: September 13, 2013, 3:38 am
by: vader

bear romero canyon seen 9/5/2012 correction was 20-25 feet away , steep

Posted: September 5, 2013, 9:16 pm
by: vader

i was hiking up the trail today, i stopped herd something walking in the brush , a good 150-200 feet away,was a stunned black bear looking at me,
i yelled to stay and leave me alone.. nature at it's best backpack

Posted: November 3, 2011, 12:28 pm
by: mattcav

Got out to Romero this past Monday (Halloween). We took the fire road (long way) up to Camino Cielo/the water tower. The road is as good as always, though some areas are becoming a bit overgrown. Spider-season was out in full force, too, as evidenced by some large and beautiful orb weavers. Temps were in the low 70's the whole way and round trip, it took us about 4 hours. I've posted all of the pics here if anyone is interested:

Posted: January 3, 2011, 3:34 pm
by: Cross Tie Walker

Took a quick hike along the Kryptor use trail and then down the upper Romero Trail to Blue Canyon yesterday (Sunday, 1/2/2011).

East Camino was covered in snow from Knapp's to just past Cold Spring saddle; we had flurries as we dropped down to Kryptor, which turned into rain a bit later as we were heading down Romero. Both trails are in great shape, though head room is at a premium for much of the descent to Kryptor.

By the time we got to the junction in Blue Canyon, it was a steady rain, and as we climbed back out it was just pouring. As we drove back along East Camino Cielo we saw that nearly all the snow except for area immediately around La Cumbre had been melted in the rain. A great day for hiking!

A few pics at steep

Posted: January 1, 2011, 11:52 pm
by: carp_nb

The pup and I did a quick run up the romero loop tonight just around sunset. The trail is in great shape and the creek has a nice amount of water in it. Nice and cool up higher in the canyon.

Great way to start the new year!

Posted: March 15, 2010, 3:04 pm
by: carp_nb

Hiked this trail as part of a longer loop hike over the weekend. I started at the top at Camino Cielo and followed the trail (to the east) as opposed to the dirt road, down to the trailhead. Overall the trail is in good shape aside from maybe a small slide or two near the upper reaches. These can be easily crossed without any problems.

The stream is running pretty steady and everything is nice and lush at the moment. Views from top were great! backpack

Posted: August 26, 2009, 7:20 pm
by: mrhooks

The difference in difficulty between this hike and a 3.5 like 3 Pools is huge! There's no rock climbing, but purely in terms of leg and cardio fatigue, this hike is much more difficult, since it's mostly a very steady uphill climb. I managed to complete the hike to the water tower and back down the same way, but I don't think I'll do it in the mid-afternoon during summer again, unless I manage to get my fitness level up. My more athletic friends (martial arts instructors) didn't have as much trouble with it, but another friend and I really suffered on some of those steeply inclined switchbacks.

But it is a very beautiful hike. The trail is in excellent condition, the views are spectacular, and there's still a tiny bit of water in the creek. Flies buzzed at my ears and bit my legs the entire way up and down, much moreso than at any other SB trail I've done, so bring insect repellant. Also, there were hundreds of ladybugs at the first creek crossing. Pretty cool, unless that sort of thing creeps you out.

Posted: July 24, 2009, 9:49 am
by: carp_nb

Been hiking this trail a lot lately. The loop trail is in good shape (up the canyon, down the old Romero Rd). There's still a little bit of water running in the creek too.

MTF recently completed a new bench and hitching post on top of one of the peaks off the catwalk to the west of Romero Canyon. It's a short but steep hike up the catwalk and is worth the views in the cooler morning/evening hours. The bench is beautiful!

Posted: September 10, 2007, 9:00 am
by: amount

Great hike! There was still plenty of water, despite the lack of rain. We took the alternate route down from the top (from the water tower all the way down Romero Canyon Rd.) which turned out to be a lot longer than we expected. The directions are a little vague about this route. Our hike ended up being 10.2 miles instead of 6! In case you're curious, here's the route length, courtesy of Google maps:

Romero Canyon Rd. (E. Camino Cielo to Bella Vista Dr.) steep

Posted: August 21, 2005, 10:33 pm
by: bainsb

Probably no one else would make this obvious mistake, but I thought I'd post it just in case! Smile The directions tell you that shortly after you cross the stream at 1/2 mile, you'll see a sign for the trail on the left. Just to let you know - immediately after you cross the stream, the road splits. We thought the left way must be "the trail on the left", even though we couldn't find any sign. It turned out to be a long dirt road that is probably a service road for the power lines. It is very steep at points, and was a good workout! We finally turned around after about 1.5 miles and went back to the initial stream crossing, and took the right fork which quickly led to the trail sign. So we did get to hike on the actual trail, which was much prettier. Happy hiking!