Despite having this website, I have not hiked every single trail in Santa Barbara. There are just too many of them. Plus I have my own favorites I like to return to.
On Memorial Day I went with the Santa Barbara County Hikers Meet Up group to hike to Flores Peak. I had never been there before. We hiked up Rattlesnake Trail to Gibraltar Road, then up to the climbing area. We then scrambled up to Flores Peak using trails rock climbers use to access their climbing areas. The peak is a rocky jumble with great views and makes a great destination. But these guys like to HIKE so we weren't even close to finished yet.
After resting at the peak a little we continued on an old fire break/primitive trail to East Camino Cielo. We then walked east for a while to another primitive trail that dropped down into the West Fork of Cold Springs drainage. There in the shade we had a brief lunch, then set out into the blazing heat up West Fork to Gibraltar Road. The sun beat down and the heat rose from the trail making this climb rather taxing. There was almost no water in any of the creeks, only a tiny puddle in the creek just before the junction with the Tangerine Falls trail and West Fork. With regret, I didn't stop to wet down my head or anything before the hot climb. At Gibraltar Road a number of us only had half a liter of water remaining and we felt pretty cooked and tired.
The planned hike was to hike up Gibraltar back to Rattlesnake and then back down to our cars, but lacking water and being so hot, at least a few of us decided to hike down Gibraltar to the monestary or whatever it is to where there is a gate and a short trail that returns to the lower portion of Rattlesnake Trail. Hiking Gibraltar Road also meant a nice ocean breeze. So that's what we did.
I hadn't done a killer hike like that in a long time. These guys hike fast! I have an undeserved reputation for hiking fast. I used to hike a lot faster before I took up weight lifting, but lifting heavy weights makes me tired so I have slowed down. I have to take a week off from lifting in order to be able to hike fast. I had only had one day off when I did this hike, so I struggled. Surprisingly I was not sore after this hike!
The Meetup folks are all very nice. It's a nice group to hike with. Their hikes are fun, they do the crazy stuff connecting trails together to make crazy loops and other things only locals could ever know about. The have pictures up from this trip and other trips they have done. They do hikes in the evenings as well. Look them up!