Santa Barbara Canyon - TRAIL

Santa Barbara Canyon - Trail, New Cuyama, California

This trails allows access to various trails and camp located in San Rafael and Dick Smith wilderness area. Some possible destinations include Big Pine mountain (31 miles 6000'+ total elevation gain round trip), the highest point in Santa Barbara county, various campsites (Alamar camp, Bluff camp, Bear camp, etc), and valley to coast expedition (probably 40 miles+ one way). There are hardly anyone here, even on weekends. Do bring a lot of water with you -- it is very hot and dry in the summer.

User Reviews (1)

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dave   Cross Country Rider [Mar 12, 2007]

Have ridden this trail/road several times now and it is an ass kicker. Not because of its grade but because it is super soft dirt. This time it was not only soft up to the Sierra Madre Ridge but along the top as well. Previous rides have been soft to the ridge and then hardpack along the ridge where USFS vehicles sometimes drive. Still some snow on the back of Big Pine, I was the only person I saw around all day. Great scenery and great location but prepar to earn it!

Customer Service

When you reach the ridge head to the right to go to painted rock or straight to Big Pine.

Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Trail
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Pat M   [May 20, 2003]

If you like remote this is the ride for you. It's easy technically but go prepared. Don't do this one in wet weather! There is bad-ass adobe mud that will stick to your tires and end your ride. Not to mention kill your bike. It happened to me last May
There is one good spring along the way just below Maldulce saddle. I filled both my 70 oz. bladders there without treating the water and I didnt die. Just get the water out of the pipe. It was flowing about 3-4 gallons a minute in June of 2002. Chokecherry Spring. Can't miss it.
I saw one bear and saw tracks of several others on this ride.
If your'e camping in the area, take the time to visit West Big Pine. Its about 2 miles from the Big Pine-West Big Pine saddle. Since it's in the San Rafael Wilderness you'll have to walk. Its worth it though.
Some of the forest service water tanks along the way have water in them. I would only use in an emergency though.

Customer Service

Start just outside Maricopa at Hwy166 and Elkhorn Valley road. Ride up the Elkhorn grade through a stock fence and enter Carrizo Plain Nat Monument. Bear left at the fork. Climb the shoulder of the Elkhorn hills (tough with panniers) and drop down to Soda Lake road. Its a fun rollercoaster down. Go left on Soda Lake road to Hwy 166. Turn left on 166. Its about 6 miles of gentle downhill with good shoulder to Hwy 33. Take 33 about 8 miles. Look for a unsigned dirt road leading to the south-west. Its about 100yds past the signed Ballinger Canyon road. This road crosses the Cuyama river and hooks up with the paved Santa Barbara Canyon road. I found a decent spot to bivouac at a pull-out that is marked with USFS signs about a mile below the S.B. Canyon Ranch. I wouldnt build a fire here though. From there beat it on up the "Corridor" to one of the primitive camps. I chose to bivouac at Bigpine saddle. From there its mostly downhill on bigpine road to Upper Oso on the Santa Ynez river. I spent the Night at Rancho Oso(beer,cheesebergers,swimming pool) in a small cabin (sleeps 4). Next day go up and over Arroyo Burro road (closed to motor vehicles) to Camino Cielo. Go left on Camino Cielo to Gibralter road. From there its all down hill to Santa Barbara. 3&1/2 days at a easy pace.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-1 of 1  

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