Jesusita Trail

Fun hike in Santa Barbara.  Pretty easy to follow although there were a couple of unsigned junctions that needed to be figured out.  Approximately 10 miles on the day.  Jesusita – pronounced Hay-sue-seetuh.

1     2     3   I parked in the same place I did when I hiked Arroyo Burro Trail – by the side of the road next to a water filtration plant about two miles inland from the 101.


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The trail took me through a forest, next to a creek and past several little pools of water.  For awhile it paralleled a private road.

9     10     11   I was then taken through a private ranch, Moreno Ranch.  The owners have been kind enough not only to allow access through the property, but have also set up a sheltered picnic table and water fountain for hikers.  I used fountain on the way back as I had just about run out of water.  The water was cool and deliciously clean.  Moreno Ranch is also home to these curious horses.

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14   The trail is well marked with both official and homemade signs pointing hikers in the right direction.  Photo 2 – Liquid Paper Nightmare – painted on a water pipe that runs next to the trail.  Photo 5 – After passing through the privately owned land, I began to switchback up the mountain.


18     19     20   Jesusita Trail ends for the moment and spit me out on a road next to these power lines.  The trail picked up again down the road a ways.  Right next to the road, just few feet away on the right, is a trail which runs parallel and offers better views of the coastline.  However, if you stay on the trail you might miss the turn-off where Jesusita Trail continues down into the canyon.

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24   Photo 1 – View of Santa Barbara below and Santa Cruz Island in the distance.  Photo 2 – A large pool of water and the filtration plant I parked next to are shown in this close-up.  Photo 3 – Through the haze, a close-up of Santa Barbara Pier and Harbor.

21   This shot is taken from the road in the direction of the ocean.  This metal (not wooden) pole is a good landmark.  If you are on the road, turn right here and it will lead you a few feet out to that trail that parallels the road.  Turn to the left and it will lead you down into the canyon, a continuation of Jesusita Trail.  I’ll show that turn-off in a few photos.  But from here I went to look for a viewpoint called Inspiration Point, which is located a bit further down the road and off to the right.


Looking inland, Cathedral Peak dwarfs the power lines standing below it.

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30   As I continued down the road I came to a three way junction that is unique on this road.  The trails heading to the left and straight ahead end at the power lines and the trail to the right looks like it heads on for a long ways.  This is a great landmark to remember if you are looking for Inspiration Point because if you come to this spot it means you’ve traveled just a few yards past the turn-off.  Photo 2 – The turn-off for Inspiration Point, on the ocean side and marked by a few rocks.  Although there is definitely a trail here, it’s a little overgrown.

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33   The trail to Inspiration Point ends here at these sandstone boulders.  I worked my way out to the farthest rock to get an unobstructed view.


Great views from Inspiration Point – Santa Barbara, CA

35     37   I backtracked down the road to the turn-off for the continuation of Jesusita Trail, directly across from that metal pole shown in a previous photo.  Here is what the unsigned turn-off looks like.  It is easy to know you have the correct trail, and not some service road that will peter out, because of the metal pole and also the wooden logs planted in the ground that shore up the trail.

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I descend into the canyon.

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When I reached the creek bed I made a left on a narrow trail in search of an area called Seven Falls.  Getting there involves some scrambling which I wasn’t up for on this day.  I didn’t go far.

41     42    43   I continued on the Jesusita Trail to it’s end, and then a little farther to a paved road and a bridge adjacent to a small waterfall called Little Fern Canyon Falls.  It was dry.  Hiking back up, for some reason I found myself exhausted.  Although it wasn’t that hot and the trail wasn’t incredibly steep, this was one of the tougher climbs I have made while hiking.  It felt great to reach the top and the road again.  I was welcomed by a cool breeze in my face.  Relief!


Another shot of Cathedral Peak

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Photo 2 – I returned to the first part of Jesusita Trail and headed for my car.  You can see the trail carved in the side of the mountain on the right.

47   Big root growing across the trail.

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50   I passed the horses again.  One began chewing on the corral’s wooden fence.

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A fine day.  Thank you Santa Barbara.

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