4 Beautiful Waterfalls In Santa Barbara With Hiking Trails (2024)
The city of Santa Barbara is privileged with every blessing of nature, be it coastlines, mountains, or wilderness. Natural surrounding here are always admired by travellers and locals. Even though the city of Santa Barbara does not have multiple waterfalls lines, but there are a handful which alone can entertain and rejuvenate the visitors. The intensity of these waterfalls in Santa Barbara changes from size to power, and every next stop brings in a new experience.
Another great advantage added to the waterfalls here are the hiking trails leading the way. No matter how much water flow you will get at the end, the trails along can make your journey pleasant. Outdoor recreation is a notch above in Santa Barbara; thus, for your next trip in the city, make sure you pack your hiking shoes, cap, sunglasses and backpack. To prepare your itinerary, have a look at our list of the Most Popular Waterfalls With Hiking Trails In Santa Barbara.
4 Beautiful Waterfalls in Santa Barbara With Hiking Trails
1. Tangerine Falls
Notably, the tallest waterfall in Santa Barbara, Tangerine Falls, flow 100 feet during the season. It also features one of the challenging trails that can be rated somewhere from medium to complex. Tangerine is somewhere inside the Los Padres National Forest, with nearly 2.2 miles of the walkable trail further connected with some moderate rock climbing. With all the excursion, one can gain 875 feet of elevation along with plenty of shade, ocean views, scrambling, off-trail rock hopping, a soothing creek and at the end, one beautiful seasonal waterfall, everything that a hiker plans for.
The trail begins at the Cold Spring Trailhead, followed by wooden steps. All your way along the path, make sure you follow the creek in order to stay in the right direction. Then about a quarter-mile further near the signed junction, cross the creek and continue uphill. Further, you will have to climb the slick rocks that will eventually reach you up to the magnificent fall. Consider planning your day hereafter rainfall to watch the Tangerine fall in its full glow. However, if it has recently rained and the way is still wet, the journey can be risky, highly unavoidable for beginners and ones with no experience at all.
2. Nojoqui Falls
Nojoqui Falls is another tall waterfall with the highest elevation of 80 feet. It is a seasonal fall that can be reached in Nojoqui Falls Park, where the park itself is known for its picturesque setting and picnic areas. Nojoqui is located just off Route 101 and can be reached after a small yet scenic hike. All it takes is time, not more than 20 minutes. Begin your hike from the north of the Gaviota Tunnel and close to Buellton and keep walking at the wide trail. After a bit of while, cross the wooden bridge, climb the stone step, crisscrossing the canyon finally leading towards the view of beautiful Nojoqui falls. The entire path is well marked.
Nojoqui Falls in Santa Barbara is at its best during the Spring season and a little tricky to be noticed during the rest of the time. The site offers a whole lot of relaxing advantages, including picnic tables, barbecue pits, horseshoes pits, playing fields and restrooms. It is also the only waterfall near Santa Barbara with restrooms aside. Overall, it is an ideal place to spend an afternoon or evening with family and especially kids.
3. San Ysidro Falls
San Ysidro Falls is right at the foothills of Montecito, offering dramatic sight to behold, especially after a heavy rain day. It is one of the attractive falls with 40 to 50 feet high elevation that is at its best during the season; however, the off-season months too are pretty peaceful and chill here. San Ysidro flows over a cliff that is beautifully coloured with yellow and green shades of moss and algae that adds some uniqueness to the view. Reaching up to San Ysidro isn’t the easiest thus, beginners and learners who have less control on their foot should avoid leading their way here.
Hike towards the waterfall begins the end of east mountain drive in Montecito right at the San Ysidro Trail sign. Once you reach the 1-mile mark, the trail will leave the roadway and become narrower. From here, locate the small redwood tree that has a small commemorative rock marker and then turn right. Further, after half or a little mile more, navigate to the side trail, and you have a fall in front. The fall isn’t much than 2 miles from the trailhead; however, the way goes up till 8 miles covering a serene and picturesque path.
4. Seven Falls
One of the most unique and beautiful waterfalls in Santa Barbara, the Seven Falls deserves only praises and appreciation. It flows through a series of narrow and deep pools and steep falls that gives it one of the different views, which aren’t usually what you find in waterfalls. It can be reached somewhere in the Los Padres National Forest and are highly dependent upon rainfall. Other than during or after rainfall, it isn’t much lively; however that is enough water to take in a dip on those small natural pools.
Hike towards the Seven falls begins from tunnel road right above the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The hike is rated as moderate and is nearly 3.2 miles heavily trafficked out and back. The entire pathway is well marked and is filled with an abundance of nature and its beauty. While on your way to the seven falls, you can capture panoramic ocean views, city views, spectacular skies and greeneries all around. Even though the hike is slightly tiresome, the shaded pathways, fantastic route and the final views make it all worth the efforts.