Rattlesnake Trail and the Connector
[out of 5]
|For:||Uphill, but relatively short|
This trail doesn't necessarily mean you will encounter a rattlesnake! That is just the name of the canyon. One canyon over from Tunnel Trail, this hike is also within 15 minutes of downtown. There is almost always plenty of water in the creek, and the trail is always shady, making this the most popular trail in Santa Barbara. It is also relatively easy compared to just about all the other trails in the area. It is well-maintained, gentle, and there are no mountain bikes allowed. 3.5 miles round trip.
The trailhead is adjacent to Skofield park and is marked by a very large sign just behind the rock wall on the road. Right away you are creekside, and after crossing the creek you climb up to a fire road. Following the fire road you return to the creek and cross again. The trail stays near to the creek, but not in it, and gently climbs to a meadow. Just above the meadow is a junction. To the left is the Connector which connects Rattlesnake Trail with Tunnel Trail. If you want a strenuous hike after the warm-up to the meadow, continue up the Connector and all the way up Tunnel to East Camino Cielo. Or, for less of an effort, take the other fork in the road and follow the steep switchbacks up a half mile to Gibraltar Road near where the rock climbers practice and the hang gliders take off.
Rattlesnake Trail and the Connector UpdatesUpdate trail conditions
Posted: May 15, 2011, 9:08 pm
Pictures can be seen here:
Posted: April 15, 2011, 9:35 am
Posted: October 5, 2010, 8:26 pm
by: Cross Tie Walker
Some of those pines the Sierra Club planted after (I think) the Coyote Fire donít look like they survived the latest fire(s), as some are dying (does anybody know what kind of pines those are?). Bigleaf maples just starting to drop some yellow leaves in the pools; very Vermont.
Really nice to see how little of the trail (in the ravine) was burned.
Some photos at:
Posted: September 21, 2010, 12:57 am
by: Cross Tie Walker
Photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/umotamba/sets/72157624877602695/
Rattlesnake Canyon [/img] backpack
Posted: July 4, 2010, 4:27 pm
by: bart merrill
Posted: June 8, 2010, 6:32 pm
Posted: January 10, 2010, 10:02 pm
Posted: December 5, 2009, 6:20 pm
Posted: October 13, 2009, 4:35 pm
But Sunday...We went up the very steep slope from Rattlesnake to the Tunnel fire road. At the top, where it meets the road, it was sprayed with that stuff that is supposed to reduce erosion. Kinda weird. Then we went up the road, then up the East end of Mission Ridge. From the top of Mission Ridge, it was somewhat of a slide down the backside 'shortcut' to the Tunnel Connector. The lower part of that 'trail' is overgrown as always and we found, looking back, that we could have gone to the right, through the burned area, totally easily to the Connector. The Connector has been worked, is in the best condition I have ever seen it! We made great time from there, then down Rattlesnake, on in.
Yes, it was a barren hike. Trail beds, of course, are plain to see. It was weird being able to see the Rattlesnake 'meadow' so easily on the way up. The road has been dozed, so you sink down a bit in a lot of places where it is not at all compacted yet. That is a scary thought with rains to come. Gonna be some gullying.
Some of the trail on the east most end of Mission Ridge is obliterated, but, as you may know, the trail essentially is along the spine, so just go up and it's there. I lost the trail for 20, 30', two or three times. What is strange is how safe it used to feel hiking rapidly through the brush tunnels, grabbing branches to swing along or help you up or down. Now there are no shrubs. What there is, is black charcoal limbs and stubs you don't want to grab or brush against, and the banks are dangerously steep in some places. We had to go slower and be careful. One advantage is some of the places you used to have to practically climb up/down, no longer exist. They are all smoothed over with soil, so you just walk up, albeit steep!
If you want to take others on this hike, you might want to hike it yourself beforehand to see how you feel per their hiking skills. You definitely have to pay attention.
It was great to see deer track and trail in various places.
Posted: January 13, 2009, 3:14 pm