Fire and floods have destroyed or made inaccessible many of the trails in our area. Read LPNF Alerts & Notices and SB County Road closure information.
Jump to main content

Santa Barbara Hikes

Snyder Trail/Knapp's Castle

Snyder Trail/Knapp's Castle

[out of 5]
 *  *  * 1/2
For:Snyder is longer and uphill. Knapps castle deserves a 1, if you start from the top, because it is very short.
Knapp's Castle
Knapp's Castle - Photo by Ray Ford

The owner of Knapp's Castle is living on the property and building something. Unfortunately, the ruins are no longer accessible. But you can still hike the trail.

Snyder trail is a nice hike on its own, or you can make a loop with the Freemont trail. The loop is a nice car shuttle hike if you have a group of people. If not you will wind up walking on Paradise road for about a mile and a half at the end. Freemont trail is a historical trail of sorts, being an old stagecoach route. Or so I've heard. You will also get to hike to an old ruined lodge called Knapp's Castle.

Knapp's Castle can be a short destination of its own on a warm summer night to watch the sunset if you start from East Camino Cielo Rd. instead. See the map and directions to the trailhead.

You will need an Adventure PassPass to park your car at the bottom. Actually, I'm not sure if this is still true so you might ask the ranger to be sure. There is a ranger station on Paradise Road. You don't need an Adventure Pass to park on East Camino Cielo.

Snyder trail on its own is a little over 7 miles.

Snyder-Freemont Loop is done as a car shuttle (which means two cars - one at the start and one at the finish) is about 8 miles. Add another 1.6 miles if you don't have that second car.

Boulder, CO Leave No Trace Frountcountry program

Add update

Please add a brief update about trail conditions. All comments are moderated and will not display until approved, which can take days if I'm away on the trail.

(not displayed)


Hiked the Snyder Trail from Paradise Rd up to the power lines last week (Monday, 4/4/2011) with the posse and one of the pack. Trail's in great shape, only one tick found, and a few flowers beginning to pop. Great day. [url=][img:e05b1b9cd9][/img:e05b1b9cd9][/url] CTW
Posted by: Cross Tie Walker  on  2011-04-12
Hiked the Snyder Trail from Santa Ynez up-and-back yesterday (Tues, 11/23/2010). Weather was great with just a few drizzles; trail/road is in fine shape (aside from some clowns from the fat tire community cutting across the route and tearing up the curves). [url=][img:675ea44cc9][/img:675ea44cc9][/url] As has been reported, there is some work being done up at Knapp's Castle, but nothing preventing hikers from visitors. There was a phone number posted for information with regard to the property, and it's a movie location/location scouting company. So I suspect the day laborers who were clearing some brush and doing some refitting on the chimney are there preparing the site for a film set. (Conjecture at this point.) A few photos at [url][/url]
Posted by: Cross Tie Walker  on  2010-11-25
Just hiked up Snyder yesterday and when we got to Knapps castle we were surprised to see a no trespassing sign. People are living up there now or renting out the property or something. There is construction on the site and it was sad to see. This used to be my favorite hike because of the reward at the top. -Leon
Posted by: lstamatis  on  2010-11-20
The wildflowers are beginning to pop. Some are already spent. The bay groves are wonderfully cool and the views from the top are as spectacular as ever. The castle could use a cleanup - partiers and others have left loads of trash up there. Anyone up for a cleanup effort? Today, our girls, now ages 6 and 8, and I had a wonderful trek from bottom to top and back again. The girls have each been carried up this trail as infants and toddlers, but this was the first time they tackled the trek under their own power. We took three breaks on the way up, two to watch mountain bikers pass, bells ringing, one just for the shaded rest and a snack. It was EASILY 80 degrees today, making for miserable ascents on the sunny slopes where we were protected from the wind. BE SURE TO BRING LOTS OF HYDRATION! Three pairs of mountain bikers came upon us on their way downhill today. All were friendly, polite, slowed (nearly stopped) for us and were having a great time sharing the trail which shows signs of heavy use not ONLY by cyclists, but horses, hikers and at least one bear of considerable size - FANTASTIC tracks today! FYI - I'm also the JB who posted here July 16, 2005. TIME FLIES!
Posted by: JenPB  on  2009-03-19
I did the Snyder trail on New Year's day and was shocked to see the amount of damage to the trail by bikes. I am not against mountain bikes on trails but what I am opposed to are bikers making new trails off of existing trails, creating jumps, and turning banks. This is the worst trail damage I have seen in the past 20 years of hiking.
Posted by: sue  on  2009-01-02
Post your update here.
Posted by: Diane  on  2005-03-24