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 Santa Barbara > Activity Guide > Santa Barbara Hikes > Cold Spring Trail to Fire Road

 

Cold Spring Trail to Fire Road

Difficulty:
Hiking Distance: 2.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 577 feet

Trail Notes & Photos

Trail Head, sign and information board. There are two trail heads for Cold Spring Trail. Start at the east side of the creek where the wood sign is rather than the west side where the rusty metal sign is.
West Fork sign next to a bench. Stay right on East Fork. Do not cross creek to West Fork!
View of trail and canopy of trees
First creek crossing. Can have a lot of water at times, very little water most of the time.
Second creek crossing, view of water & fern.
Fork in the trail: About 10 feet past the second creek crossing you hit a fork in the trail. The heavily traveled direction is right. Stay right.
Fork in the trail: About 50 feet past the second creek crossing you encounter another fork in the trail. The trail is heavily traveled in both directions. Go right. It is a common mistake to go left here because it seems like the logical way to go (along the creek, uphill). If you go left here you will hike uphill 0.17 miles until the trail dead ends into boulders. Go right at this fork, NOT left!
Fork in the trail, go left and your next stop will be the fire road. Left is a little longer but less steep and offers more shade during the hike. If you instead go right at this fork you soon encounter another fork in the trail that takes you 1) left, to another place on the fire road (a sunnier, shorter route) or 2) right, all the way downhill to the trail head where you started.
Fire road & power poles. Take a left once you reach the road fire road and you have a good view from the power poles
City view from power poles. To this point you have hiked 1.40 miles with an elevation gain of 1152 ft.

   

Directions to Trail Head

Just south of Santa Barbara on the 101 freeway exit at Olive Mill Road (exit 94A). Turn north toward the mountains and drive up Olive Mill Road until it becomes Hot Springs Road. Continue up Hot Springs Rd until you reach Mountain Drive. The distance from the freeway to Mountain Drive is 1.9 miles. Turn left on Mountain Drive and drive 1.05 miles to where Cold Spring Creek crosses the road. There are parking areas on both sides of the creek. There are also trail heads on both sides of the creek. Don't start on the west side where the rusty Cold Spring Trail sign is. Start on the east side of the creek (the side you came from) where you will see a wood sign marking the trail head. The GPS coordinates of the trail head are 34.456203, -119.653474.

Regional Map