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Santa Barbara Hikes

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls

[out of 5]
 *  *  * 1/2
For:Agility required, difficult rock climb, primitive trail

3 Pools and 7 Falls are probably the most fun of all the Tunnel Trail hikes. Neither is easy, but both are fun because of the opportunity to go for a dip in the creek. Most people in some kind of decent shape can handle these hikes, but because of the rock hopping (and for 3 Pools there is a very difficult rock to climb) most people end up a little sore the next day.

The trail begins on a paved access road that the Edison Company uses. After a mile the road turns to dirt and you follow it just a little more toward the turnoff to Inspiration Pt. Instead of going to Inspiration Pt, you turn right and head up a very steep trail that takes you above 7 Falls and back down to the creek again to a wonderful, deep series of pools, one of which is popular for daredevil, feet first jumping from a 15 ft. cliff.

The hike is about 3 or 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 ft.

Please note: Parking at the trailhead is limited and strict. You must park behind the white line or else they really do ticket and tow. It is a congested neighborhood and parking within the white line helps emergency vehicles get through. Please be courteous to car traffic as you walk up and down the road and let residents get through. Please keep dogs on leash because there is a flock of free-range chickens that lives in the area. Residents have been pretty vocal about the traffic and safety issues in the area and your courtesy will keep the trailhead open.

Algalita Research - Learn about the pelagic plastic problem

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Hiked to the 3 pools the evening of 6/28/17. The lower pool is almost dry, the middle pool is full but water is barely flowing in and out, the upper pool is full with just a little moss. Went down the slide a few times, very refreshing. On a very sad note there seems to be lots of new graffiti along the way all the way to the pools.
Posted by: BillF  on  2017-06-28
Creek is flowing well and all pools are completely full. Haven't seen this much water in years! Water is chilly but very refreshing. Lots of poison oak but it's easy to avoid if you're looking for it.
Posted by: JasonD222  on  2017-03-12
Hiked to the 3 pools 6/24/15. The lower pool of the 3 is completely dry. The middle pool has some stagnant water. The upper pool has running water going into the pool. The level is about 6 feet down from the overflow level. There are quite a few snakes and salamanders in the pool along with several sticks and branches.
Posted by: BillF  on  2015-06-26
Pictures of the Status of the trail 5/7/13
Posted by: alfns74214  on  2013-05-15
Hiked 3 Pools/7 Falls on 5/7/13 The bottom pools are pretty dry and filled with stagnate water with back-swimmers and salamanders. The top three pools remain active and filled with water. I went for a few jumps in the deepest pool. Hike worth more than the elevation change. Anyone that enjoys jumping into cool water should definitely check this hike out.Please don't be discouraged by the water level at the bottom as the top still has plenty.
Posted by: alfns74214  on  2013-05-15
Hiked 3 Pools/7 Falls today; amazing how much water is still in the creek. [url=][img:e9c7532b81][/img:e9c7532b81][/url] [url=]Mission Creek Pools. Cold.[/url] The flow is low, but the pools are all full (and clear) to the brim, and *cold*. Even the pool at the Mission Creek/Jesusita/Cathedral crossing was ~4' deep. Use trails are full of PO; watch your step. Rock-hopping up and back is probably the safer route right now if you're susceptible. Some photos at [url][/url] CTW
Posted by: Cross Tie Walker  on  2011-08-08