Santa Barbara has so much to see and do, with plenty of hiking trails for explorers of all skill levels! Learn more about some of our favorite Santa Barbara hiking trails so you can take a great excursion during your next visit.
Cold Spring Trail to Camino Cielo
The Cold Spring Trail is perfect for hikers who want exercise, but not too much difficulty on their hike. This 2.7-mile loop features great views, including a river, and is accessible year-round. And if you want some incredible ocean views, you can venture off the beaten path onto offshoot trails in order to catch even better sights. But as always, take caution when leaving the trail.
San Ysidro Trail
The San Ysidro Trail is one of the most popular Santa Barbara hiking trails. This trail is an 8.6-mile loop out and back and although it’s popular, it’s ranked as difficult. However, it also features a waterfall and this alone is worth the difficult trek! This hike is the shadiest of the Santa Barbara trails, so if you want to stay out of the sun during your hike, consider San Ysidro.
This trail is 6.8 miles long and has a moderate rating. But it also features a waterfall! So if you’re looking for some beautiful water features on your hike but feel daunted by San Ysidro, this is a great alternative. It also features a lot of uphill hiking, but the scenery is so beautiful, it’s worth it!
Anacapa Island is part of the Channel Islands National Park, which makes this hike more of an excursion than the others. But if you love hiking, stunning views, and island adventures, you won’t want to miss this trail. This is a 2.5-mile loop and not difficult, so it’s perfect for hikers of all skill levels. In addition to the ocean views, you’ll also be treated to walking along the beautiful wildflowers that grow on the island.
Bring your dogs!
If you’re considering venturing out onto the Santa Barbara hiking trails, consider bringing your dog along. Many local trails allow dogs (provided they are kept on leash) to join the hike. Each trail listed here, with the exception of the Anacapa Island, allows dogs, so your companions can join in the fun! Plus, Santa Barbara offers plenty of other pet-friendly activities, including wonderful dog-friendly hotels.
Stay in Santa Barbara
Of course, even if your primary purpose for visiting is for the hiking, you’ll still want to stop by and see the ocean at least once during your stay. Marina Beach Motel is conveniently located just half a block from the beach, so you can walk–or bike–over for a quick ocean view.