Romero Canyon is a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking and even horse riding, and I know why… its a great trail!! Located in the mountains on Montecito, even the drive there is nice. Beautiful scenery, babbling creek (for part of the trail) and the most important part, a great workout. I was cursing myself half way down but once I finished, I felt good!
For the first half, the trail stays near the stream and is lined with green vegetation and overhanging trees keeping it cool. The stream provides a great place to cool off for our furry trail companions. There are a couple stream crossing that are not difficult. Just stay on the trail and follow the trail markers that you see. *This trail is very well marked*
After about an hour, we finally reached the top. At the top, there will be two trails the left (one that takes you to E. Ocean View and the other to Blue Canyon); we went to the right down what appears to be a service road. It is well maintained and was wide enough for me, my friend and his dog to trail run. And even though I was already tired and sore, the thought of being down the mountain at this point was worth the pain. This road will wind through the mountains, providing majestic views of beautiful Montecito. It will eventually loop around and back down, meeting up with the Romero Canyon Trail. The hike was fairly strenuous, not too steep, but just long. About 6 miles the route we took.
There wasn’t too much color on the trail, but I managed to find some little patches here and there. On the way down, I realized that there was wild fennel lining the trail!! We tried to pull some up but even the baby ones were impossible to get out of the ground! Oh well 😛 It made the trail smell like licorice though, yum!
Trail Head Directions:
From the Mission, corner of Laguna and Los Olivos Street in Santa Barbara, get on US 101 going southbound. Take the Sheffield exit, which is a left exit, getting off the freeway from the left lane. Turn left off the exit. Turn right again after crossing under the freeway onto Sheffield Dr. The road winds immediately to the left. Don’t go right up the hill! At East Valley Road, Turn left, then almost immediately turn right onto Romero Canyon Rd. Follow Romero Canyon Rd. for a mile and a half. There is a fork in the road. Make sure to take the right fork. At Bella Vista Rd, turn right. Go about 1/4 mile and park just before or just after the stream crossing where there is a metal gate across a dirt road to the left. The Trailhead is at the metal gate on the dirt road.