Hike to Inspiration Point



3.5 miles

Elevation Gain

800 ft

Route Type


Added by The Outbound Collective

The hike to Inspiration Point will take you to a scenic viewpoint overlooking Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean.

Hike up the 3.5 mile trail to an unbeatable vista that will leave you smiling! This hike has a steady uphill climb from the trailhead off of Tunnel Rd into Los Padres National Forest. Keep in mind this trail can get pretty crowded on weekends, so you're best to be at the trail early in the morning or toward the end of the day (don't forget your headlamp!). Keep in mind there isn't much shade on the trail, so bring a hat and your sunscreen. 

This trail is dog-friendly, but dogs must be kept on-leash. 

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Know for

Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly



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NOT in Rattlesnake Canyon (at all)

Inspiration Point can be accessed either from the Jesusita Trail (starting in San Roque Canyon) or from the Tunnel Trail (starting in Mission Canyon). Rattlesnake Canyon is to the east of Mission Canyon. It is a nice hike as well, but NOT the way to get to Inspiration Point (unless you hike Rattlesnake--named after the shape of the canyon, btw, not the reptile--go all the way to the meadow, hike the Rattlesnake/Tunnel Connector, turn down the Tunnel Trail, and take the Inspiration Point/Seven Falls Jesusita connector). The actual hike to Inspiration Point is ok-ish. It is heavily traveled and a good workout, but can be very crowded, the fires have eliminated most shade, and there can be poison oak. The view is beautiful. Closed on Red Flag days. If you access it from the Tunnel Trail, pay very close attention to the parking signs and park off the pavement.


πŸ₯‡Top Contributor

10 months ago

Scenic Santa Barbara Hike

This trail is a bit of work to get up with 800 feet of elevation gain, but that's what makes the view at the top that much better! Get panoramic views of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack to enjoy at the lookout.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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