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Montecito Peak

Difficult
 3.3 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This out-and-back hike takes you through Cold Spring Canyon to the summit of Montecito Peak.


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Map Key

7.0

Miles

11.3

KM

Out and Back

3,167' 965 m

High

815' 248 m

Low

2,352' 717 m

Up

2,352' 717 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

69%

Max Grade (35°)

Dogs Unknown

Features River/Creek · Swimming · Views

Overview

Following the Cold Spring Trail and the Montecito Peak Connector, this challenging, but rewarding, hike offers stunning views of the Santa Barbara area after you gain more than 2,000 ft. of elevation.

Need to Know

Re-opened after the December 2017 the Thomas Fire Closure. Use caution around loose soils, rolling rocks, and unstable portions of the trails. USFS staff continue to work with local groups and partner organizations to repair damaged sections of trails. Check USFS website for the most up-to-date information.

Description

Starting from the Cold Spring Trailhead off of Mountain Dr., hike for 1/4 of a mile along the trail through forested land to reach the first trail junction. To your left is the West Fork Cold Spring Trail, but you'll want to follow the Cold Spring Trail (a.k.a. East Fork Cold Spring Trail) as it climbs the canyon wall before reconnecting with the creek 1/2 of a mile later. At this point there is a good swimming hole to your right. The Cold Spring Trail then climbs out of the canyon by switchbacking up to the Montecito Overlook point. From here, you'll have stunning views of the Santa Barbara coast and the nearby islands.

To continue on the Cold Spring Trail, climb for another 1/4 of a mile, and you'll reach a juncture with the Cold Springs - Hot Springs Cutoff. Bear left to stay on the Cold Spring Trail, and it will switchback up the canyon while offering great coastal views along the way. 1.75 miles after passing the last trail junction, you'll reach a turn-off for the Montecito Peak Connector. Follow this short, steep path to the summit of Montecito Peak, which sits at 3,214 ft. and offers great views. From here, follow the same route back down to the Cold Spring Trailhead.

Thanks to John McKinney, The Trailmaster, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about trails in California, check out his guides at The Trailmaster Store.

Contacts

Shared By:

John McKinney

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 3 votes

#4291

Overall
  3.3 from 3 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#626

in California

#4,291

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Photos

Enjoy a phenomenal view from the summit of Montecito Peak.
Jul 7, 2017 near Montecito, CA

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Check-Ins

Mar 9, 2020
Shane Bandy
Aug 18, 2019
Shane Bandy
Sep 9, 2018
Valerie Norton
https://valhikes.blogspot.com/2018/09/montecito-peak.html
Jun 22, 2017
Valerie Norton
https://valhikes.blogspot.com/2017/06/montecito-peak.html

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