Best Hikes in Santa Barbara
Take on the Pacific Terrain
With its windswept mountaintops, lush woods, and breathtaking bluffs, Santa Barbara's landscape calms and inspires. Known as the American Riviera, its legendary foothills, trails, and paths are suited to experienced and novice hikers alike. There are many routes to choose from with varying levels of difficulty, all of which promise heady memories and rigorous exercise. Find the one that truly calls to you, and get ready to get swept away by Santa Barbara's coastal beauty.
Rising 1,800 feet above Santa Barbara, this stunning peak has a couple itineraries to tempt you. Take the San Roque Road to the Jesusita Trail for a longer jaunt of just about eight miles, round trip, with about 1,400 feet of elevation gain; for a shorter trip take the Tunnel Trail to Jesusita, giving you about a 3.75-mile round trip with an 800-foot elevation gain.
Skilled hikers take note: At 2,458 feet, this is one of the most challenging peaks in the region. However, it's worth it to tough it out, since you can treat yourself afterwards with a restorative soak in the nearby Hot Springs.
Channel Islands National Park
Located on five islands off the coast, all with their own hiking trails, Channel Islands is a renowned nature preserve, home to dolphins, grey whales, sea lions, lizards, bats, tree frogs, and many more species. Visitors can expect to see a number of these creatures during a hike; we highly suggest visiting the NPS' park page for extensive details on the nature of the area.
1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura, CA 93001
Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens
The ideal choice for those who want to take it easy, the Gardens' five miles of path take guests on a meandering journey through California's native flora. Stop by sights like the Japanese Tea House and Mission Dam while enjoying the five miles of trails, taking a scenic journey from field to forest.
1212 Mission Canyon Road
Santa Barbara, CA