Santa Barbara has some of the best hiking anywhere, and lots of it!
Lots of hiking trails are listed here with maps, topos and directions to the trailhead. Print out what you need and take it with you.
Then, come back and talk about your adventure.
When you hike the PCT, never mutter under your breath, "Thank God I never have to hike this section again" because you never know. I have now hiked this little segment in the desert three times!
Trailhacker and I set up a car shuttle with the help of a nice lady in Tehachapi who drove us along the aqeduct to the Cottonwood bridge. The two previous times I have been here, the desert has been empty. Now it is a noisy windfarm.
We hiked up out of the desert into the Tehachapi mountains. It was a long slow climb. We stopped to rest and have lunch under a juniper tree.
We stopped for water in Tylerhorse Canyon. This is the only water source for our trip. It's a nice little canyon and is a little bit sheltered from the wind. The area had burned sometime before 2008. That's the first year I hiked through here. It was burned then too.
We climbed several thousand feet out of the desert and into the mountains. The wind was unbelieveable. We stopped for a rest in the shelter of this giant, burned tree.
We continued to climb into the evening. We worried there would be no safe place to camp. We eventually found shelter in the center of a group of trees. It was fairly calm for our tent—it only blew over twice. The wind did die down a little in the night but it still sounded like we were sleeping on the runway at LAX.
In the morning we hiked into the wind and down the mountain into more windfarms. I drove Trailhacker in to Tehachapi for lunch and to buy some forgotten items. Then I drove him back to the trailhead and wished him well on his journey north. He intends to hike all the way to Horseshoe meadows. That's about 210 miles total and about 2 weeks of hiking. He seemed a little nervous heading into the wind, especially as it seemed to be getting colder for the next few days. I am hoping it goes well for him. This is a difficult stretch of the trail. There is not much water and there is a lot of wind.