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Santa Barbara Hikes

Diane's Big Adventures

We Hiked the Franklin Trail


Last weekend we hiked the Franklin Trail in Carpinteria.

You can see the Franklin Trail along the side of the ridge. Below are dirt roads, some of which you walk on.

In some ways, the Franklin Trail is the worst trail. It takes 5.2 miles of mostly road walking just to get to the trail.

I hope you like road walking because there's lots of it.

Once you get to the trail, it's closed.

5.2 Miles of road walking and finally the trailhead. But it's closed.

The trail is completed, though. We hiked to the top. It's a relentless climb. Feels like a solid 37 degrees the whole entire way. If you're not feeling well, this will be a total slog. Probably the worst slog in all the front country. It never lets up. It killed me. I got a rash from the sun. I drank all my water. My calves exploded. I'm still sore.

Nice views and benches in the Phase 1 and Phase II segments, which are kind and gentle and popular.

A friend says he hikes this trail several times a week to keep in shape. It's a 16 mile round trip to the top and back, so you'd definitely be in good shape if you did this every week. There would probably be no other hike you could do that you wouldn't be prepared for if you hiked the Franklin Trail every week.

One good thing about the trail is that it will be a nice way to get into the backcountry. 8 miles to the top, then the Franklin Trail continues on the other side and in a couple more miles there's a nice campsite. Or you could walk along Camino Cielo to Divide Peak and take the Ocean View trail or the Monte Arrido Trail. From all these places you can get further into the backcountry of Santa Barbara or Ojai. I've heard you could probably even walk all the way to Canada.