Zuma Ridge Trail: Fourth of July Hike

It was five years ago to the day that I hiked this same trail.  Like then, I began in the late afternoon and ended after dark. My plan, to make it up to Buzzards Roost Ranch and then down to a high spot to take in the fireworks show off of Broad Beach.  My previous hike was marred by thick fog. I couldn’t see a thing. This year the skies were clear.
Hiking Distance: Around 8 miles

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San Marcos Foothills Preserve / Lotusland

I began my day at San Marcos Foothills Preserve, a newer hiking destination in Santa Barbara. There are about six miles of trails running through a former a cattle ranch. It’s also super easy to get to, located just a few minutes drive from the 101 Freeway. Afterward I toured Lotusland, an amazing, private botanical garden. One must make a reservation at Lotusland.org before arriving.
Total Hiking Distance: Six miles at San Marcos Preserve and three hours of wandering through Lotusland.

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Franklin Trail

Franklin Trail is an old trail in Carpinteria that had been closed for decades. Only recently has it been restored and re-opened to the public. It’s beautiful, well-maintained and well-marked. Unfortunately, gloomy conditions kept me from fully enjoying the coastal views the trail provides.  It was nice and cool, however, so I figured that was a fair trade. The trail has been worked in three phases. Today I hiked the first two.
Hiking Distance: 10 1/2 miles

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Las Llajas Canyon

I hiked in Las Lllajas Canyon once before a few years back. My plan was to start out on that same trail, La Llajas Canyon Road, and then then break off and go find an abandoned mine site and an old excavator that’s been sitting up in the hills for decades. I had to scuttle that idea when I couldn’t find the spur trail. Instead I stuck with the fire road until it connected with Rocky Peak Trail. I was slightly disappointed I never found the turn-off, either coming or going. However, I’ve been yearning for a simple, straightforward hike. Just to get on the dirt, mind vacant of abstract distractions,  and rhythmically put one foot in front of the other.
Hiking Distance: 9 miles

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