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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-Mapped by Chuck Graham, Chuck Graham Photography
- Distance: 7.4
Location: 34.741712, -120.062089
Start at the cattle guard and head northeast along the creek; oak trees shade the trail.
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.
Location: 34.745919, -120.056869
After the second fence you’ll come to a 3-way junction. Go left toward the creek.
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.
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.
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.
Location: 34.75518, -120.052532
Crest a broad shoulder southwest of the Grass Mountain summit and continue north for more climbing.
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.
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
Location: 34.762522, -120.041428
The summit of Grass Mountain is marked by a dead tree and views that reach to the Pacific Ocean.