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Santa Barbara Hikes

Forbush Flat Description

Forbush Flat

Begin this hike on the Cold Spring Trail on East Camino Cielo Rd., at 3425 ft. elevation, across the road from the cement water tank. You will be heading away from the city of Santa Barbara toward the north. There is a rusty metal sign marking the trail. The trail begins at this sign, the Cold Spring Trail. The sign says "Forbush Flat".

The Cold Spring Trail begins in Montecito and goes all the way over the mountains, down into the Forbush Flat area, and down into the deeper back country to Mono Campground and Little Caliente Hot Springs. But this hike is the Forbush Flat hike, and all we are doing is hiking downhill to the meadow where the camp is located.

At about 1/2 mile down there is a bench and a square concrete water trough for horses. Often the trough is dry.

At about the 1 mile mark you find yourself on a ridge with sweeping views into Blue Canyon to the right. In the distance you can make out Jameson Reservoir which provides water for Montecito.

At the bottom of the canyon you reach a rusty metal sign and a trail junction. This is actually under 2 miles, but close enough. The sign marks the junction to the Blue Canyon trial.

If you continue straight up and over the ridge you will continue the descent and in about 2 more miles reach the Santa Ynez River. This hike is just to Forbush Flats, which we have already reached at the 2 mile mark and the rusty metal sign.

Just turn left at the rusty metal sign marking Blue Canyon and Mono and head into the meadow. You'll find some picnic tables, fire circles, and apple trees.

To return to your car, turn back and head uphill the way you came.