Skofield Park is located along Mission Creek in the foothills next to Rattlesnake Canyon Trail. The 35-acre park offers recreation opportunities for walking, hiking, and wildlife viewing. The park includes large grassy meadows and numerous native shade trees, including mature coast live oak and sycamore trees. Reservable picnic and barbecue sites are located in designated areas. At the center of Skofield Park is a road with campsites scattered along the way, which is unusual to see in a local park. This is the only city park with reservable camping areas for nonprofit youth groups.
- Features: Alcohol Allowed, Hiking Trail, Parking On Site, Passive Open Spaces, Picnic Site, Reservable Areas, Restrooms, Wildlife and Birding
- Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash
The popular Rattlesnake Canyon Trail starts at a sandstone bridge across from Skofield Park. This trail name doesn't mean you are destined to encounter a rattlesnake! The trailhead is marked by a very large sign just behind the rock wall on the road. Hike up a brief stretch of trail and join a narrow dirt road that parallels the east side of the creek. For picnicking, take any of the steep side trails down to the creek. The trail crosses to the west side of the creek and passes through a tiny grove of Monterey pine planted by the Sierra Club after the Coyote Fire of 1964. There are many switchbacks up the canyon wall and as the canyon narrows, you’ll reach a tranquil, natural reflecting pool.
When you think of a Santa Barbara park, you might think of a natural area to wander around amongst the trees and chapparal, and perhaps enjoy the sounds of a babbling brook. Skofield Park has all that and a bit more. Skofield Park has boulders. A hand-full of small sandstone boulders are scattered throughout this scenic park. Each boulder has a few high quality moderate routes. What the park lacks in quantity it makes up for with quality. There are 31 documented boulder climbing routes in Skofield Park and some of the more popular paths have names including "2 Francs to Glory," "Le Fissure King," "Mutants Amok," "She Made Me Do It," "To a Grave," "Vanity," "Verisimilitude," and "Zerreissen."
Portable barbecues and camp stoves that are self-contained, enclosed with a lid, and raised at least six inches off a surface may be used on any permanent picnic tables at this park or by permit such as a rental or special event. If there are no permanent picnic tables available at this park and it is not a permitted event then no barbecues are allowed at this park. Barbecue users must remove hot coals and ash from the park, unless a hot coal-disposal receptacle is provided.
The land was formerly owned by Ray Skofield, and originally used as a camp for "Los Rancheros Vistadores," a men's riding group which Skofield was a founder of in 1930. When the surrounding area began getting more developed, Los Rancheros sold the land to the City for a park in 1954.