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Santa Barbara, CA: Rattlesnake Canyon

Delve deep into the Santa Ynez Mountains on this 4.7-mile, creek-hopping, canyon traverse to rock climbing walls and a hang glider launch pad.

Trip Tools

Ophidiophobic hikers can breathe a collective sigh of relief: Rattlesnake Canyon gets its name from the winding, serpentine-like path that ascends it, not from some hidden den of slithering snakes. The route zigzags through verdant deciduous forests, rock rose groves, and wildflower meadows. Sandstone cliffs line the trail as you switchback across the creek several times: rock climbing opportunities abound. Once you reach the trail’s crest at 2,500 feet, turn onto Gibraltar Road and watch the hang gliders run and jump off the mountain before retracing your steps back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Chuck Graham

To Trailhead

Go northwest on State Street. In 1 mile, turn right onto East Olive Street. Turn right at West Mountain Drive. At mile 1.5, turn left onto Las Canoas Road. Bear left to stay on Las Canoas. The trail begins at the entrance to Rattlesnake Wilderness Area in Skofield Park.

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