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24 hour trip out of Santa Barabara, CA
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Scott White
(sdwhitey) - F

Locale: Smoky Mountains
24 hour trip out of Santa Barbara, CA on 06/15/2010 13:59:01 MDT Print View


I will be visiting family in Santa Barbara, CA in mid July. I am looking for ideas/suggestions for an overnight trip that I can complete in approximately 24 hours. I am not at all familiar with CA and its National Parks/Forests.

Here are a couple of parameters
-I would prefer a loop hike
-anything from 10 to 25 miles
-if possible avoid bear canister areas
-minimal driving time from Santa Barbara to trailhead

Thanks for your suggestions!

Edited by sdwhitey on 06/15/2010 15:25:31 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: 24 hour trip out of Santa Barabara, CA on 06/15/2010 14:39:07 MDT Print View


I am not super familiar with the area, but the Los Padres forest is less than an hour away. I have done some hiking the the area. It gets hot in the summer, and water can be an issue. I am sure Piper will post some information, as this is her "backyard."

I would seriously consider driving to Big Sur, which is maybe 4 hours north.

Joe Cangelosi
(JoeFish) - F

Locale: All Over California
Re: 24 hour trip out of Santa Barbara, CA on 06/20/2010 22:43:50 MDT Print View

Well, it's not exactly what you had in mind, but I spent 2 days doing 4 hour hikes on either side of Gaviota SP, 30 miles from SB. The camping in the park sucks, it's an asphalt lot designed for beach bums to put up tents from walmart and run generators, but it's surrounded by 2800 acres of beautiful foothills. If you're a plant geek, so much the better.

I've hiked out there a bunch and have never seen anyone else in the hills except at trailheads on weekends. I don't think there's any wilderness camping permitted there per se, but I don't know that it's prohibited either. It might be worth looking into, though beware the wildcats.

If you come across the sulfur springs, admire them from a distance, they are filled with chiggers.

Pics of the 2 day trip below:

Nathanial Eady
(DaGreekPacker) - F

Locale: California's Central Coast
RE: 24hr trip in Santa Barbara on 06/23/2010 11:05:03 MDT Print View

I live and work in the Santa Barbara area and do 90% of my backpacking in the local Los Padres.

FYI- mid-July can be a rough time to backpack in this area. Heat and water availability can be an issue. Luckily we got a pretty heavy winter this year so all the major creeks are still running. But still expect mountain temps to exceed 90 degrees. If you don't like hiking in the heat, an overnight trip to the Channel Islands can be a viable option.

If the heat doesn't scare you away, I would recommend a hike out of the Nira campground trailhead. Plenty of trip options from there and the TH is only about an hour from downtown SB. Check this site for a primer on hiking in the area:

Bear canisters are not required anywhere in the Los Padres. There are bears but they are extremely skiddish. Mice are more likely to steal your peanuts.

If you need more detailed info, feel free to PM me. Depending on what weekend you are in town I may even be able to join you if you're interested in a trail partner for the trip.