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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.

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I have a new friend who is recovering from a knee injury so I have been scouting trails for good footing and trail quality. My wife and I hiked a little more than an hour up Jesusita trail (Inspiration Point). The footing was good for the whole of the hike after the first 200 yards. Contrary to the view from the trail head there is actually nice cover from the sun most of the way and its more interesting terrain than San Ysidro trail we were on last week. About a mile and a quarter up there's a shaded water fountain with a couple picnic tables on private property for public use and a pleasant rest. It's mostly very dry up there but the creek showed a couple wet holes and we came across a little spring with a trickle of fresh water that was mangled with animal track. The incline is steady all the way but nothing difficult or slippery uphill or down. Maria encapsulated her experience of our walk as 'restorative'. The trail can also be entered about a mile down hill at Stevan's Park. There are some big trees on that stretch worth seeing but it puts the water fountain about and hour and a half out[color=black:648f417d3f][/color:648f417d3f]
Posted by: familyman  on  2015-09-08
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.
Posted by: carp_nb  on  2011-05-16
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 by: rileySB  on  2011-04-06
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 by: rileySB  on  2011-04-01
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 by: Majesta  on  2011-03-30
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 by: mityorkie  on  2011-03-25