The Best Photography in Santa Barbara

Looking for the best photography 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 photography spots in and near Santa Barbara

  • Santa Barbara, California

    Hike to Inspiration Point

    4.0
    3.5 mi / 800 ft gain
    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 mornin...
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  • Santa Barbara, California

    Hike La Cumbre Peak via Tunnel Trail

    10 mi / 3000 ft gain
    Tunnel Trail is a great way to get to the top of La Cumbre Peak. You get to the trail head by taking Tunnel Road until it dead ends at a large water tower, there you can park your car and start on foot. You take spyglass ridge road up which is a paved fire road until it becomes dirt when you get ...
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  • Montecito, California

    Hike the Cold Spring Trail to Montecito Peak

    6.8 mi / 1939 ft gain
    Park in the lot east of where Cold spring creek intersects Mountain Road. The correct trailhead is the one with the wooden sign, do not take the trail with a rusty metal sign. Begin your ascent and at the first fork stay right on East Fork. You will cross two mild creeks before the next fork, aga...
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  • Montecito, California

    Hike the Cold Springs Loop Trail

    1.8 mi / 682 ft gain
    This trail is a 1.8 mile loop that is ideal for families or anyone looking for a short but spectacular hike. Begin at the trailhead where Cold Spring Creek crosses Mountain Drive. Follow the trail with a wooden sign--not the one with a rusty sign. Stay right at every fork. There will be a couple ...
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  • 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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  • Montecito, California

    Hike the Saddle Rock Loop

    4.0
    2.9 mi / 895 ft gain
    Begin at the trailhead in the parking area on E. Valley Road. You'll gain some elevation (don't forget your water). You'll know when you arrive at Saddle Rock--you can't miss this conspicuous rock formation. Enjoy the sights from here. If you plan carefully and hike up on a clear day, you may eve...
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  • Santa Barbara, California

    Hike to Knapp's Castle

    4.2
    0.8 mi
    One of the many hidden gems near Santa Barbara, Knapp's Castle is an abandoned home built in 1916 by George Knapp. Finding the trailhead can be difficult because it's not clearly marked and the road it's starts from is long, winding and narrow. Coming from the 154, turn right on East Camino Cielo...
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  • Montecito, California

    Hike Romero Canyon

    5.7 mi / 1459 ft gain
    Hiking the 5.7 Romero Canyon loop trail is a wonderful way to get outside and get the endorphins flowing. The trail has some steep sections but the reward for that, of course, is the excellent scenery. Hike in the spring and summer for the best of the wildflowers--you won't regret it. This is a g...
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  • Goleta, California

    Camp at El Capitan Canyon

    5.0
    El Capitan Canyon is a gorgeous collection of permanent tents, yurts and cabins located across the highway from El Capitan State Beach and its campground. It's also the perfect place to ease your friends or loved ones into the world of camping. We all have that special person in our life who we'...
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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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  • Ojai, California

    Camp at Rose Valley

    5.0
    Close to Ventura and Ojai, California, this spot is an easy weekend getaway from the hectic coast of Ventura. Follow Highway 33 east toward Ojai. This road will lead into the Los Padres National Forest and become very curved and sleep as it gets closer to Rose Valley. The sign for the Park with b...
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  • Emma Wood State Beach, California

    Surf Emma Wood State Beach

    Park your car along the famous Pacific Coast Highway and watch the waves roll in. Go out surfing, kiteboarding, swimming, or kayaking. Emma Wood State Beach is a fairly exposed beach and reef break that has reliable surf. Summer offers the most-favored conditions for surfing.  Both breaks get cro...
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  • Ventura, California

    Bike the Sulphur Mountain Loop

    28.6 mi / 2884 ft gain
    The Sulphur Mountain Loop is a 28 mile cycling and mountain biking loop that begins in Ventura Canyon at the Sulphur Mountain Trailhead and loops through Ojai Valley. Beginning at the Sulphur Mountain Road trailhead off Highway 33, follow the road up and over Sulphur Mountain and down until it co...
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  • Ojai, California

    Climb at Wheeler Gorge

    Grab a dozen quick draws, your 60m rope, and head up Highway 33 out of Ojai for 7 miles (One of the routes here describes the crag perfectly, a Riparian Daydream). Drive through one tunnel, and continue on for another mile or two until you reach two tunnels in quick succession. The crag is in bet...
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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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  • Ventura, California

    Bike the Ventura River and Ojai Bike Trails

    32.6 mi / 1030 ft gain
    The Ventura River and Ojai Valley Trail, effectively the same trail, is a gorgeous 32 mile trail that runs from Seaside Park in Ventura to downtown Ojai. It runs along and across the Ventura River and through the Ventura Canyon, with views up and down numerous side canyons and ravines. The trail ...
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