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“An engaging journey through front-country canyons, with a superb peak at the end.”
— Denise A
From canyon to peak, this run gives you a taste of everything the Santa Barbara front-country has to offer. Expect rolling elevation gains, with the occasional steep climb. It can be a hot slog in the summer months, but if you time your outing with morning fog it can be quite pleasant. During the colder winter months, it's possible to start at the trailhead in balmy 70 degree weather, and finish up in the snow up at La Cumbre!
Features: Cave — River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
Need to Know
Shady for the first couple miles, then gets pretty exposed.
Well-worn trail the whole way. Ample shade for the first two miles, then fairly exposed for the last 3 or 4. There's usually water in Rattlesnake creek, even during bad droughts. The last water-break is about 1.5 miles in, so prepare accordingly.
Start at Rattlesnake trailhead. Pleasant elevation gain takes you through shaded riparian environments. At the two-mile mark, you hit "the meadow". Take a left after the meadow and pick up the Tunnel Trail connector. Hunker down for a long, steady, exposed, and burly climb. Once you hit the intersection of the connector and Tunnel Trail, turn right. Stunning cliffs tower over you on the right, and beautiful views roll out before you to the left. Long, steady elevation gains get you to Camino Cielo. A little bit of steepish road-running gets you to La Cumbre. Enjoy the view, and get ready for the descent!
Flora & Fauna
It's not called Rattlesnake Canyon for nothing. While not prolific in numbers, I've personally encountered rattlesnakes on two or three occasions. La Cumbre Peak makes you feel like you're in the Sierra! The pine trees are awesome.