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Santa Barbara Hikes

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls Description

3 Pools Beyond 7 Falls

First a warning: The hike to 3 Pools involves a difficult boulder climb and has the possibility for people to get lost. If you doubt your abilities, you may wish to avoid this hike. That is up to you. Oh, and be careful of the poison oak, too.

From the Trailhead...

Pass through the iron, locked gate and follow the paved Edison Rd.

Approx. 3/4 mile cross creek on wooden bridge. Around the bend the road becomes dirt. There is a junction here. To the right the Edison road continues up for a few miles and makes a nice walk or mountainbike ride of its own. For 3 Pools, stay straight on the dirt road at this junction.

Go just a little ways, maybe a few hundred yards further, and off to the right is the sign and junction for Tunnel Trail. Continue straight, not taking Tunnel Trail, for a few more yards to the junction on the left for Jesusita Trail.

At about the 1 mile mark you will reach the creek. The Jesusita Trail continues straight across the creek, going up to Inspiration Pt. But you are going to 3 Pools, which means you turn right up the creek. (But cross the creek first because it's easier on the other side, and you'll be looking for a trail off the left side.)

Go only a few feet up the creek, keeping a careful lookout for a trail which will take up to the left and up away from the creek. Follow this unnamed, unmarked trail.

The trail climbs steeply for about a mile and a half. At a couple of points you will see a junction to the left. The second junction goes up to Cathedral Peak. For 3 Pools, stay straight on the trail.

At one point, approximately a 3/4 mile from where you originally crossed the creek, you will come to a very large boulder. You will need to climb this boulder, which is not an easy thing to do for the faint of heart. On the way back, you will need to climb down this boulder, and there is no other easier way.

After climbing the boulder, you return to the creek and boulder-hop your way to 3 Pools.

You know you have reached 3 Pools because you will come to first a lovely, deep, inviting pool, then another, and finally a very deep, small round pool with a cliff that is the destination for lunch and an adventurous, feet-first jump into the pool.

All told, the hike is approximately 4 miles round trip. To get back to your car, return the way you came.