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The Best Hikes in Santa Barbara to Discover Now
Health & Fitness

The Best Hikes in Santa Barbara to Discover Now

Join us on a leg-burning journey through the best hikes in Santa Barbara, you won’t want to miss a single one.

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5 min read

August 16, 2021

The Arroyo Burro Beach Loop is an easy flat walk with nice views of the ocean. A large part of this loop, dogs are allowed off leash.

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The Tar Pits and Carpinteria Bluffs Loop is perfect since its right next to the ocean; you'll get to view seals, dolphins, and other creatures.
Avid hikers suggest trekking the Cold Spring Loop Trail counterclockwise for steep switchbacks to start and a gentle slope down to the springs.
The views at the top of Inspiration Point are breathtaking; the big rock is the perfect place to stop and take a breather before heading back down.
Rattlesnake Canyon stretches from Skofield Park into the Santa Ynez Mountains. Its name comes from its serpentine curves, not rattlesnake occupation.

Rattlesnake Canyon

Location: Rattlesnake Canyon Park

Hours: Sunrise to sunset 

Parking: Available at Skofield Park

Difficulty: Hard

Distance: 4.4 mile

Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes 

Route: Out and back

Dogs allowed: On leash

Don't let the name scare you—chances of you seeing rattlesnakes on this trail are very, very slim. Instead, this out-and-back is the delightful alternative to the more crowded Inspiration Point; but they share an adjacent canyon. Basically, if you want all the nature and minus the crowds, Rattlesnake Canyon is for you. Start trekking at Skofield Park and put your mind at ease under the shade of chaparral, oaks, and sycamores.

San Ysidro Trail

Location: Los Padres National Forest

Hours: Sunrise to sunset 

Parking: No public parking 

Difficulty: Hard 

Distance: 8.6 miles 

Time: 4 hours 

Route: Out and back

Dogs allowed: On leash

Available from the upscale enclave of Montecito, the San Ysidro Trail is all about appreciating nature. And if you have the chance to visit after good long rains, you'll have the rush of water as a soothing soundtrack for when you're passing by creeks and waterfalls. For most of the way, this trail stretches along a canyon, which—if temperatures permit—is ideal for a refreshing dip.

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