Trail Run Project Logo

Montecito Connections Loop

  4.0 ( 3 ) Favorite


5.4 mile 8.7 kilometer loop
75% Runnable


Ascent: 1,447' 441 m
Descent: -1,449' -442 m
High: 1,486' 453 m
Low: 462' 141 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 31% (17°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by John McKinney

A loop through the heart of the foothills above Montecito.

John McKinney

Features River/Creek · Views


Utilizing the San Ysidro Trail, McMenemy Trail, Hot Springs Trail, and Edison Catway, this loop allows you to experience everything that the Santa Barbara foothills have to offer. From running through canyons to ascending to stunning viewpoints of the coast, the Montecito Connections Loop has it all.


From the trailhead, the San Ysidro Trail parallels a residential driveway for a while before becoming a dirt road. 4/10 of a mile into your run, you'll come across a junction for the Old Pueblo Trail and the McMenemy Trail 1/10 of a mile later. Turn left to follow the McMenemy Trail westward. The run will take you over the creek and through eucalyptus woodland before ascending up a series of switchbacks to the McMenemy Bench.

At this point, there's an intersection with the Girard Trail, which heads to the north. Continue along the McMenemy Trail by continuing straight (to the west). The McMenemy Trail then descends into and climbs out of a small canyon to reach a ridge top where it hits a juncture with the Saddle Rock Trail roughly 1.8 miles into the run. Run for another 4/10 of a mile as you descend Hot Springs Canyon's east wall over a few switchbacks. You'll then run into a T-intersection with the Hot Springs Trail. At this point, the McMenemy Trail comes to its end and you'll turn right to join the Hot Springs Trail as it heads north.

Follow the Hot Springs Trail for roughly 4/10 of a mile to reach a juncture with the Edison Catway, a wide dirt road. Turn right here to follow the Edison Catway as it traverses the mountainside passing turn-offs for both the Saddle Rock Trail and the Girard Trail. After following the Edison Catway for about 1.75 miles to the east, you'll come across a junction with the San Ysidro Trail at the bottom of the San Ysidro Canyon.

At this point you'll turn right, cross San Ysidro Creek, and follow the San Ysidro Trail for roughly 1.2 miles as you descend through the canyon to reach the original trailhead and complete the loop.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Flora & Fauna

Bougainvillea, sea fig, and numerous other exotic plants can be found near the trailhead of the San Ysidro Trail.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes, History & Background


Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In



Stewarded By

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes


in Montecito


  4.0 from 3 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Run Rankings


in Montecito


in California


44 Views Last Month
640 Since Jul 28, 2017



Turn towards Lower McMenemy at the Girard/McMeney intersection.
Dec 6, 2017 near Montecito, CA


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running