[out of 5]
|For:||Long, uphill on the way back.|
Blue Canyon is like a secret treasure hardly anyone knows about. That is hardly true, but it is amazing how often you can hike in Blue Canyon and feel completely isolated from civilization, never encountering another person. This of course is not true on holiday weekends because Blue Canyon is a short drive from Santa Barbara and a short hike from the trailhead if you are planning a backpack trip. It makes a great day hike, too.
Blue Canyon is located in the canyon just behind the Santa Ynez mountains. You access it by hiking down to Forbush on the Cold Spring Trail and turning right to descend further into Blue Canyon.
There are meadows that fill with gorgeous wildflowers in spring after the rains, creeks that run fresh and clean, and three places to camp—Cottam Camp, Lower and Upper Blue Canyon Camp beyond. It gets quite hot back there in the summer time, which can be a blessing during the Santa Barbara "June Gloom" when it is cold and foggy in town.