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.