Santa Barbara hiking trails offer outdoor lovers plenty of options for terrain and scenery. The Santa Ynez Mountain range is one of only two in the world that runs east to west, eventually spilling into the ocean on the breathtaking Gaviota Coast. So throw the necessities in your backpack and hit the trail because the view is about to get incredible.

Santa Barbara Hiking Trails

Choose from several trails that wind along flowing creeks shaded by California bay, sycamore and oak tree forests before you eventually peak out above the canopy where chaparral-choked mountainsides sweep across the entire range. Catch sight of Santa Barbara’s red tile roofs, white sand beaches, and the Pacific beyond it with breathtaking, panoramic views.

You’ll find plenty of amazing vistas from the top of Inspiration Point, whose trailhead is located a short distance north of the Santa Barbara Bowl. For beautiful views of an 80-foot tall waterfall, check out the short but rewarding hike at Nojoqui Falls. Or, to pair some fresh air with an appreciation of local flora, head to the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, where the Porter Trail will provide expansive views of the area.

Hiking in the Santa Ynez Mountains

Those who reach the top of the Santa Ynez Mountains are rewarded with more stunning views to the east and northeast showing off Santa Barbara’s backcountry and the vast Los Padres National Forest.

Some of the trails that lead to the spine of the range include Tunnel, Cold Springs, San Ysidro and Romero Canyon. This rugged wilderness is fortified in sandstone and inviting trails that lead all the way to New Cuyama. The backcountry is a backpacker’s dream where lonely trails lead to remote campsites, solitude and discovery, a piece of Santa Barbara experienced by just a few.

Channel Islands Hiking

And don’t forget the Channel Islands National Park as a premier hiking destination. The five islands; Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel, all have unbelievable trails leading to amazing wildlife, rare forests, and jaw-dropping scenery.  It’s only a short boat ride away to a part of California that is as captivating today as it was 200 years ago.

Hiking in Santa Barbara

Channel Islands Expeditions

Day Trips to the Channel Islands National Park from Santa Barbara Harbor Santa Barbara is the entrance to the Channel Islands National Park across one of the most biologically diverse bodies of water on earth, the Santa Barbara…

Santa Barbara Adventure Company

Experience an unforgettable adventure in Santa Barbara with the city's premier outfitter, providing exciting experiences to thousands of visitors yearly. CHANNEL ISLANDS TOURS Sea Cave Kayaking Tour at Channel Islands National ParkExplore Channel…

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Explore California’s unique natural landscape at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, a 78-acre living museum designed entirely with California-native plants. Five miles of easy walking trails crisscross the wild-crafted gardens, so you can…

Channel Islands Adventure Company

Prepare for an unforgettable adventure at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island, part of Channel Islands National Park. Guests will have the chance to see unique wildlife up close, navigate renowned sea caves, and wander through dense kelp…

Captain Jack’s Santa Barbara Tours

Captain Jack’s offers custom wine tours, beer tours, historical and architectural tours, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, sailing, and whale watching. The company prides itself in making sure each tour is suited to the individual…

Additional Experiences

Best Hikes in SB
Scenic views are everywhere. Santa Barbara creates a postcard-perfect backdrop for your next coastal retreat.
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Four Stunning Waterfalls
Santa Barbara’s majestic wilderness areas abound with unexpected finds and hidden gems—including some wonderful waterfalls.
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