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Santa Barbara Hikes

Arroyo Burro to the Santa Ynez River

Arroyo Burro Trail to Santa Ynez River

Rating:
[out of 5]
 *  *  *  *
For:Long uphill on the way back
One Baby Blue Eye
One Baby Blue Eye on the North side of Arroyo Burro Trail

This hike is a delight. You must hike through the environmental devastation of a shooting range to begin, but once you turn the corner, you no longer hear the gunshots or see the trash and instead find yourself in an enchanted fairytale forest.

You'll hike along a well-maintained trail on the shady side of the mountains through oak woodland and madrone forests. Depending on the time of year, the trail may be covered in alder, maple, bay and oak leaves and be rich in moss, banana slugs and a variety of fungus or may have a myriad of wildflowers.

The trail ends at a dirt road which you can follow past private White Oak Camp to the Santa Ynez River.

The hike is just under 7.5 miles round trip, which includes the dirt road to the river.

If you are not an experienced hiker, don't overestimate your abilities. You descend first and only climb to return to your car. If you're not in good condition, you may find the climb back to your car harder than you expected.

Boulder, CO Leave No Trace Frountcountry program

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Hiked this in the opposite direction (i.e. from the Santa Ynez river up to Camino Cielo). It's nice and shady, and there are lots of wildflowers, but it is getting a bit overgrown, and there's some poison oak a ways up.
Posted by: Sebastian  on  2014-04-27
Hiked this last weekend with a few friends and my dog. Everything is looking great but it is starting to get a little overgrown. If you are particularly susceptible to poison oak (I am not) then you should take extra care. It is growing over the trail in quite a few places. But overall it was nice. WE went on a hot day and it still was nice and cool because the majority of the trail is shaded.
Posted by: sageandkopek  on  2013-04-19
Hiked this last weekend with a few friends and my dog. Everything is looking great but it is starting to get a little overgrown. If you are particularly susceptible to poison oak (I am not) then you should take extra care. It is growing over the trail in quite a few places. But overall it was nice. WE went on a hot day and it still was nice and cool because the majority of the trail is shaded.
Posted by: sageandkopek  on  2013-04-19
This was a nice hike! Mostly shady, and nice and cool under the trees. The creek is running really nicely. Be prepared: going uphill on the return trip is nicer on the knees, but it does make the hike seem a lot longer! I came prepared for mud with my serious hiking boots, but we didn't really encounter any - until we got very close to the river. Then it wasn't mud we found, it was a giant pool of water blocking the trail. There didn't seem to be any easy way around, and we were practically at the end of the hike, so we just turned back. The water looked clean enough, and maybe knee-deep, so you could wade across if you wanted to badly enough.
Posted by: Jade  on  2011-02-14
Thanks for adding this one, Diane. We did the AB up-and-over on 12/20/10; see [url]http://www.santabarbarahikes.com/community/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=9&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15[/url] for my account. Great route!
Posted by: Cross Tie Walker  on  2011-01-08
We saw lots of lady bug swarms on this trail today. Once the sun hit them, they would fall in clumps from their clusters on rocks and twigs. It was hard not to step on them since they were all over the trail. The creek was noisy with water and in some places we could peek through the brush and see small waterfalls below us. There's a lot of mud toward the bottom. It's probably better to turn around when you get to the mud if you don't want to ruin your shoes.
Posted by: Diane  on  2010-12-29