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Tunnel Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.1 (8)

A rough and rocky trail with great views climbing from Inspiration Point Trailhead to El Camino Cielo.


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Map Key

4.1

Miles

6.6

KM

Point to Point

3,400' 1,036 m

High

1,002' 305 m

Low

2,399' 731 m

Up

1' 0 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Description

Getting there: This trail begins at the Inspiration/Seven Falls trailhead. This trailhead can be crowded and parking is nearly non-existent. There are a dozen official spots on the side of the road and in small turnouts spanning a quarter mile down the road. The trailhead is in a residential area so please be conscientious of that.

Directions: The first mile of Tunnel Trail South is a paved road that climbs steeply from the trailhead. At this mile point, the trail T's with a dirt road. At the dirt road, take a left and follow signs towards Seven Falls. Take an immediate right (after 100m), depart Seven Falls Trail and continue uphill. This turn is not signed very well and is easy to miss. This 1.5-mile section is very rocky and steep.

At mile 2.5 there is a three-way intersection. Stay left and follow signs to El Camino Cielo, the trail on the right takes you down into Rattlesnake Canyon Park. The trail gets flatter and less rocky and the geography opens up to give great views of Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. At mile 3.1, there is a crag with a few faint climber trails that are easy to mistake for Tunnel Trail. Generally stay right and continue uphill. If you take the wrong trail, you'll cliff out pretty quick and realize your mistake. After this section, the trail is nearly flat and very well cleared of brush. The trail terminates in a dirt field well traversed by dirtbikers and a hundred meters beyond this is the road.

Overall Impressions: The trail is technical, steep, and rocky. During the spring and summer, it can be overgrown with brush and hot. Far too many people use the trailhead and the first mile (shared with Inspiration Point/Seven Falls) while very few people use the section from the Seven Falls Trail up to the climber's crag. Cell phone reception is generally good. I took it while passing through town and wouldn't recommend it in and of itself. I think the best utility of this trail part of a loop encompassing Cathedral and La Cumbre Peak on the way up and Tunnel Trail on the way down or as a connector into Rattlesnake Canyon Park.

Shared By:

Chris Fa

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 8 votes

#8013

Overall
  4.1 from 8 votes
5 Star
38%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
25%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#747

in California

#8,013

Overall
52 Views Last Month
1,331 Since Dec 16, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
38%
0%
63%
0%

Photos

Arlington Peak from Tunnel Trail.
Oct 22, 2017 near Mission…, CA
Santa Barbara views
Feb 7, 2020 near Mission…, CA
Santa Barbara shortly after sunrise.
Oct 22, 2017 near Mission…, CA

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 87 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2019
Shane Bandy
Aug 14, 2019
Shane Bandy
11.5mi
Apr 27, 2019
Andy Chan
out and back 8.2mi — 5h 28m
Mar 11, 2019
Ryan Sloane
Dec 15, 2018
Luke Koczwara
Oct 21, 2017
Tilman Giese
Sep 30, 2017
Valerie Norton
Trail work day: https://valhikes.blogspot.com/2017/09/tunnel-trail-work.html