Santa Barbara, CA: Grass Mountain Trail

This 4.6-mile trek to Grass Mountain is a steep one (2,100 feet in 1.5 miles), but the payoffs are worth it. You'll find spectacular summit views and some of the best wildflower displays in the state.
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This 4.6-mile trek to Grass Mountain is a steep one (2,100 feet in 1.5 miles), but the payoffs are worth it. You'll find spectacular summit views and some of the best wildflower displays in the state.

-Mapped by Chuck Graham, Chuck Graham Photography

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.4

Waypoints

GRA001

Location: 34.741712, -120.062089

Start at the cattle guard and head northeast along the creek; oak trees shade the trail.

GRA002

Location: 34.744495, -120.058862

Climb over the fence (keep the creek on your left) and continue northeast through the large meadow. Views of Grass Mountain's broad, treeless southwest face appear straight ahead.

GRA003

Location: 34.745919, -120.056869

After the second fence you'll come to a 3-way junction. Go left toward the creek.

GRA004

Location: 34.746517, -120.056027

Cross the creek over sandstone boulders. Stay on the left side of the creek beneath the cottonwoods and sycamore trees.

GRA005

Location: 34.747262, -120.055529

Bear right at the Y-junction, continuing along the creek. Clusters of California poppies and purple lupine hug the windswept slopes along the route.

GRA006

Location: 34.748242, -120.054367

Cross the creek at the orange lichen-covered rock. At the fork, bear left and climb meadows covered in Indian paintbrush, chocolate lilies, and goldfields. Keep an eye out for mule deer.

GRA007

Location: 34.75518, -120.052532

Crest a broad shoulder southwest of the Grass Mountain summit and continue north for more climbing.

GRA008

Location: 34.762487, -120.041707

The 3,685-foot summit of Grass Mountain is marked by a dead tree and views that reach to the Pacific Ocean. Stay for lunch, then backtrack to the trailhead.

Bush Lupine

Location: 34.746479, -120.055761

The lower elevations are covered in bush lupine that stand about three to four feet tall.

Windblown Poppies and Lupine

Location: 34.747255, -120.055343

Clusters of California poppies and purple lupine hug the windswept slopes along the route.

Poppies and Lupine

Location: 34.7487, -120.054088

There's lots of good spots to stop and read, write and enjoy the stunning views.

Views of Santa Barbara County

Location: 34.755193, -120.052371

Grass Mountain

Location: 34.762522, -120.041428

The summit of Grass Mountain is marked by a dead tree and views that reach to the Pacific Ocean.