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The Best Backpacking in Santa Barbara

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

Top backpacking spots in and near Santa Barbara

  • Montecito, California

    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 Trail, take the Olive Mill Rd. exit from the 101 freew...
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  • Ojai, California

    Hike to Matilija Falls

    5.0
    9 mi / 950 ft gain
    ...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 here, you'll drive 13.4 miles north on highway 33 f...
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  • Maricopa, California

    Deal Trail

    11.14 mi / 1581 ft gain
    Deal Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near Ojai, California.
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  • Los Olivos, California

    Backpack Zaca Ridge

    5.0
    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 drive slow. The road becomes Sunset Valley Rd and ...
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  • Los Olivos, California

    Manzana Creek and Eastern Hurricane Deck Loop

    24.39 mi / 4685 ft gain
    Manzana Creek and Eastern Hurricane Deck Loop is a loop trail where you may see wildflowers located near Los Olivos, California.
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  • Los Olivos, California

    Manzanita Creek Trail to Dabney Cabin

    12.74 mi / 1207 ft gain
    Manzanita Creek Trail to Dabney Cabin is an out-and-back trail that is moderately difficult located near Los Olivos, California.
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  • Los Olivos, California

    Manzana Schoolhouse via Manzana Trail

    16.42 mi / 1509 ft gain
    Manzana Schoolhouse via Manzana Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near Los Olivos, California.
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  • Los Olivos, California

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

    7 mi / 2000 ft gain
    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 your GPS "Davy Brown Campground" in Los Olivos / Los...
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  • Santa Barbara County, California

    Santa Barbara Canyon to Big Pine Mountain

    41.18 mi / 7694 ft gain
    Santa Barbara Canyon to Big Pine Mountain is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a river located near New Cuyama, California.
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  • Ojai, California

    Shelf Road Trail

    3.52 mi / 338 ft gain
    Shelf Road Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Ojai, California.
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  • Maricopa, California

    Backpack to Bear Trap Campground

    4.8 mi / 1200 ft gain
    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 campsite can be reached at any point of the year an...
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  • Ventura, California

    Cueva Valdez to Arch Rock Trail

    7.45 mi / 1614 ft gain
    Cueva Valdez to Arch Rock Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near Ventura, California.
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  • Maricopa, California

    Gene Marshall-Piedra Blanca National Recreation Trail

    18.2 mi / 3553 ft gain
    Gene Marshall-Piedra Blanca National Recreation Trail is a point-to-point trail that takes you by a river located near Ojai, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Backpack across Santa Cruz Island

    5.0
    15 mi
    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 and out of Scorpion Anchorage. You can call them at...
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  • Ventura, California

    Del Norte and Montanon Trail to Scorpion Campground

    12.58 mi / 2464 ft gain
    Del Norte and Montanon Trail to Scorpion Campground is a point-to-point trail with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean located in Channel Islands National Park, California.
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  • Ventura, California

    Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island

    5.0
    16 mi / 50 ft gain
    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 West Coast. It is an opportunity to backcountry pack...
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