Jump to main content

Santa Barbara Hikes

Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point

[out of 5]
 *  * 1/2
For:Uphill, but relatively short
Mariposa Lily
Mariposa Lily

This version of the hike starts at Tunnel Trail. There is another way to get here, starting at Jesusita Trail.

Beware of kamikaze mountain bikers on this trail.

This hike is a relatively moderate hike, especially if you are in good condition. One thing to consider with hiking in Santa Barbara is that the area is not flat. It's all mountains! So an easy hike is one where parts of the hike at least aren't too difficult for the average person, and usually that part is at the beginning so that if it does get too hard you can turn around.

The trail begins on a paved access road that the Edison Company uses. This road is a popular exercise spot for many active Santa Barbarans. You can see people getting their morning and evening workouts running, biking, walking the dog, and taking the kids for a walk year round. The road is about a mile long, which is perfect for a quick workout. The trail begins near the end of the pavement and is wide and maintained. The trail climbs through shady chaparral to a small summit which is another Edison access road, dirt this time. The summit is indistinct, except for the fact that when you reach it you have a beautiful view of the city, the ocean and the Channel Islands. This view makes this a popular sunset hike.

The hike is about 3.5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 800 ft.

Boulder, CO Leave No Trace Frountcountry program

Jesusita and Inspiration Point Updates

Update trail conditions

Posted: May 16, 2011, 10:43 am
by: carp_nb

I've run the Jesusita Trail up to Inspiration Point and then down the other side towards Mission Canyon and out via Tunnel Trail twice in the last week. The trail is in great shape the whole way. Still a nice amount of water in all of the creeks too.

Lots of wildflowers and new spring growth. In places the new growth is starting to crowd the trail a little, but the tread is still clear and well-defined. backpack

Posted: April 5, 2011, 11:45 pm
by: rileySB

Hiked up to Inspiration Point. Water level down a bit, nothing as much as last week but still enough to make a good sound and enough pools for the pup to swim in. Lots of wildflowers still and tall grasses invade the trail about halfway up. A few mudslides remain from the last major rains but has been trampled down so there is no disruption in the trail. Saw a small group of trail volunteers doing some weedwhacking and fixing one of the major mudslide areas (thanks ladies and gent!) to make it easier to pass through. About 2/3 way up from the trailhead there is a large tree that has landed on the trail and the only way to go further is to scramble up the side of the trail. Great views today, at the top by the powerlines it's almost overgrown with grasses (a great way to pick up ticks! Found one on my shirt when I got home, last week the same and the dog got some so make sure to check). Good workout, dog had fun, lots of photos taken, a great day!

Posted: April 1, 2011, 4:09 am
by: rileySB

Hiked up to the power lines on Tuesday, haven't been on this trail in years and was I amazed! Sooooo much new growth, so much water, wildflowers all over (yellows, golds, purples, whites, etc). The hillsides are littered in flowers. Water level was high enough to make the numerous stream crossings difficult without getting wet. Trail was in decent condition considering the torrential downpour the week before. A few sections of the trail were rerouted due to mudslides, downed trees and other obstacles.
Hiked up there Thursday afternoon and even though it was 80 degrees in town, it felt cooler under the shade of the magnificent trees that covered much of the lower portion of the trail. Water level seemed lower than Tuesday but still lots of waterfalls and deep pools for the dog to swim in. Parts of the trail seemed to be overgrown with greens, saw some guy Tuesday with a machete trying to clear some of it back. Got home and found a large tick attached to my arm. Luckily it wasn't embedded in my skin. However, be on the lookout especially with the heat, the new growth and the fact that often times you will be wading through tall grasses.
Absolutely beautiful!![img][/img]

Posted: March 30, 2011, 2:19 pm
by: Majesta

The trail was beautiful today,na little muddy in some points on your way up but nothing that should stop you. The rock-hopping to get over the fast current of the river (from the rain) was a little much for our 18lb Lhasa Apso dog, in which I had to jump in the water because he couldn't get over a rock. Other than that, the trail held up nicely from the rain!

Posted: March 25, 2011, 3:26 pm
by: mityorkie

Tried to do Inspiration Point today. After all the rains the waterfalls are impressive, but unless you're willing to chance getting wet the water is running too high & rapid at the first fording.

Posted: February 21, 2011, 7:01 pm
by: Haddy

We did the hike today as a loop starting from the water treatment plant (I found the description of the trail head from this page a little better) up to inspiration point, down tunnel road trail and along foothill back to the trail head.
At the very beginning there were some short passages where the trail disappeared due to mud slides. The rest of the trail is in good condition and we really enjoyed it. It is really short though, the entire loop took us around 1.5h I believe.

Posted: January 27, 2011, 11:35 am
by: juliag

I've gone up 3 times already this month and it is beautiful! there is water running at the pool, trail looks very green, its a nice scenery if hike really early in the morning. enjoy hikers Smile backpack

Posted: January 3, 2011, 12:57 pm
by: atheus

This trail is one of my default hikes. It is quickly accessible from downtown Santa Barbara (10 minute drive to the end of tunnel road) and since it takes only about 30-45 minutes to get up to the peak (with great views of Santa Barbara and Goleta), one can hike this trail quickly after work.

Please be aware that the recent rain caused some rock slides on this trail. Even thought the rocks do not block the trail, you should be careful standing or climbing up on some of the rocks that are next to the trail. steep

Posted: January 2, 2011, 2:44 pm
by: sbdolphin62

Great hike the last day of 2010 to Inspirtation point.Nice creeks to cross, not mudding at all.Crystal clear day. Very much enjoyed hike with friends!

Posted: September 5, 2010, 9:13 am
by: LisaZ

Hiked this today from the main fire road at Mission Canyon. The trail is still in excellent condition--thanks to all of the nice, responsible hikers who use the trail daily.

We started the hike at 5PM and I was back to the car before 6PM. One of my favorite shorter hikes/runs in Mission Canyon!