Santa Ynez Canyon

I parked along the road in the same place I parked when I hiked Hondo Canyon, but this trail goes in the opposite direction.  I then had to hike about a mile over trails and roads to get to the Backbone Trail and Trippet Ranch. Thanks to the kind strangers who helped me find the way.  It was a hot day and getting back up from the bottom of the canyon was tough.

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I started out going in the wrong direction.  The trails are poorly marked for the first three quarters of a mile.

IMG_7406     IMG_7422     IMG_7613   I hiked above a school and it’s outdoor amphitheater.  I came to a nature trail set up by the school kids.  This is the trail you want.

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The school interpretive trail ended at a paved road.  I then walked down Topanga Canyon Blvd. for about a hundred yards and up Entrada Road to a parking lot and the beginning of Dead Horse Trail.  The walk along the road is a little hairy – not much room on the shoulder in some spots.


Finally I reach Dead Horse Trail.  The trail is very well marked.  Over the mile and a half there were six or seven signs pointing the way.  The ground is mostly flat and rocky.

IMG_7452     IMG_7587     IMG_7586   Dead Horse Trail led to Trippet Ranch.

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I was greeted with a view of the Santa Monica Bay once I got a little closer to the turn-off that would lead me down into the canyon.  Santa Ynez Canyon Trail is steep, especially at the top, without much cover from the Sun.

IMG_7512     IMG_7520   About half way down there is a large sandstone formation.  Photo 2 shows that there’s not much to grab on to if you happen to slide over the side.


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IMG_7564   Wave of Stone   The bottom of the canyon is wooded and shady.  There are a couple of caves to explore.  The first requires a bit of scrambling to get up to.

IMG_7554     IMG_7569   More sights from Santa Ynez Canyon

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There’s a waterfall down here but it’s rough going.  There are several stream crossings and often I found myself walking right up the stream bed.  I’m not sure how anyone would get back here if the water was really flowing.  I arrived at a little waterfall, something of a disappointment.  I believe there are bigger falls the further back you go.  Photo 2 – People pull themselves up and over the rocks with this yellow rope.  I turned around here.

IMG_7590   The hike back up and out of the canyon was brutal.  I rested beneath these shady oaks at Trippet Ranch before heading back to my car.



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