Best Backpacking in Santa Barbara County

Looking for the best backpacking in Santa Barbara County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Santa Barbara County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the incredible Outbound community.

  • Hike the West Fork of Cold Spring

    If you love the mountains above Santa Barbara but hate the crowds, stick to the canyon trails on the east side. The trails running up Cold Spring canyon offer a variety of experiences without all the noise.To find the West Fork of Cold Spring Trai...

  • Hike to Matilija Falls

    ...If you've read most of my blogs, you'll probably notice I have a fascination for waterfalls! I've done this hike multiple times, but it wasn't until this day where I saw these falls truly in action and what they're meant to look like. Getting h...

    9 miles 950 ft gain

  • Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island

    This adventure is not for the inexperienced. There is a campground on each of the Channel Islands and even camping at Water Canyon on Santa Rosa Island is moderately difficult, especially in the summer. The payoff is one unlike any other on the We...

    16 miles 50 ft gain

  • Camp at the Water Canyon Campground in the Channel Islands NP

    You can get a wonderfully detailed description of what to expect from the Channel Islands/Santa Rosa Island and how to get there from fellow Explorer Michael Wigle's "Beach camp on Santa Rosa Island" adventure (which I highly recommend you check o...

    1.5 miles

  • Hike to Cavern Point & Potato Harbor

    Tucked away in the Pacific Ocean just 25 mile from the coast, the Channel Islands are one of Southern California’s hidden gems. With towering cliffs and isolated beaches that hug the coast, this place makes you feel worlds away from home. Channel ...

    5 miles

  • Camp at Scorpion Ranch, Channel Islands NP

    Accessible only by Ferry, this little known national park is a backpackers dream. You can catch the ferry out of Ventura or Santa Barbara, only a short distance from LA. The ride to the island is around 1 hour.We chose to take Island Packers Ferry...

    0.5 miles

  • Backpack to Del Norte Campground on Santa Cruz Island

    Del Norte Backcountry Campground is located on Santa Cruz Island, one of the islands that makes up Channel Islands National Park. It is California's largest island and is almost three times the size of Manhattan. The easiest way to get to the isla...

    7 miles 700 ft gain

  • Backpack Zaca Ridge

    From Santa Ynez, CA take Armour Rd until it hits Happy Canyon Rd, and make a left. Follow this scenic drive through vineyards and oak shaded pastures into the Angeles National Forest. A half-mile section of asphalt is rough from winter storms, so ...

  • Backpack across Santa Cruz Island

    To get to Santa Cruz Island you will need to book a ferry with Island Packers.  On their website you can only  book roundtrip tickets in and out of the same location so for this trip you will need to call and book a ferry in to Prisoner's Harbor a...

    15 miles

  • Dispersed Camp in Los Padres National Forest (near Davy Brown Campground)

    I was looking for a last minute adventure out of LA and found this epic view.  Easy backpacking trip for one night, no permits needed, less than 3.5 hours from LA, and secluded.  Go to REI and pick up your adventure pass for your car. Plug into yo...

    7 miles 2000 ft gain

  • Backpack to Bear Trap Campground

    There's no better feeling then camping out and having a whole site to you and your friends...wouldn't you agree?!?! ...Deep in the Sespe Wilderness in Ojai, California sits a tucked away, well-managed campsite called "Bear Trap Campground". This c...

    4.8 miles 1200 ft gain

  • Hike the East Anacapa Island Trail

    To get to Anacapa Island, you must secure passage from Ventura via Channel Islands National Park concessionaire Island Packers. Private boaters are welcome to reserve a campsite, although be aware that there are no moorings available and few prote...

    2.4 miles 334 ft gain