Santa Barbara front countryLocate the trailhead.
Somewhere along the windy bit that is Las Canoas Road off of Mission Canyon Road is Skofield Park and Rattlesnake Canyon, which is apparently part of Skofield Park.
|Start of the trail up Rattlesnake Canyon. Well, the one one the west side of the creek, anyway.|
This trail is an old standby from childhood. That is, we must have been on the start of this thing at least a dozen times. As is typical of front country trails, continuing on the trail can be a challenge at times. A little ways up, the trail goes straight while a bulldozer width trail turns right up the hillside. It goes a short way up to a road and fencing and, believe it or not, a bulldozer. There's an okay view from it too.
|A short offshoot of trail leads to a view of some of the city below and St. Mary's Seminary.|
Further along the trail splits twice very close together. If memory serves, going up at the first split will get to a hill with some power poles for a total hike of about two miles (one way). It has another view of the city and is popular with the evening crowd. We took the lower section. This one splits to go straight down and cross the creek which will get you out on the horse pasture to go back over the fence signed "no trespassing", again if memory serves. The middle road also quickly crosses the stream, but does so going upstream. Some nice rocks around there.
|Just before crossing the stream, eroded rocks of inconsistent hardness show off their holes and a cave.|
Further along is a big meadow topped by a huge oak tree which seemed to be a popular destination or rest point.
|Large meadow full of dry grass now but likely full of flowers other times of the year. This oak dwarfs the others seen.|
Just into the trees on the other side of the meadow, the trail splits again, but this time on purpose.
|These are the choices, without a lot of information as to how far anything is.|
|On the ground there's more information. Presumably this is the older sign since it refers to Gibralter Road as "Depression Drive". They must have been measuring with a meter wheel they thought was a yard wheel to get this mileage for the right direction.|
We decided to take the right, a half mile up to Gibralter Road. This half mile turns out to be a bit steep and somewhat more than a half mile. Still not the longest "half mile" ever, but made longer by all the constant and determined up. The last bit of trail drops from the road in a near vertical slippery slope. The sign from the road is tucked away a bit below this drop and has become two posts rather than a sign. Braving the last bit of uphill gets a much nicer view of the city than anywhere along the trail.
There's still more mountain to climb if desired. It looks a bit steep here and there.
|The trees peaking out from the sheltered north side of slopes. They're always cute.|
Back down to the meadow, the view is somewhat less than before.
|A segment of ocean peaking through the valley.|
Then back down the somewhat less steep bit of the steep trail.
©2008 Valerie Norton
Posted 6 January 2008
Last updated 7 January 2008