Toro Canyon Park is the quintessential hidden gem. It's huge, packed with amenities, offers a hike with a spectacular mountain top view, yet nobody knows it's there because it is far off the beaten path. Consequently many celebrities flock to Toro Canyon Park because of the privacy it affords. However, you are more likely to encounter screaming kids at a birthday party, or a blushing bride at her wedding reception, than you are to chitchat with your favorite heartthrob.

  • Features: Alcohol Allowed, Biking, Hiking Trail, Horseback Riding, Horseshoe Pits, Parking On Site, Picnic Site, Playground, Popular Event Venue, Reservable Areas, Restrooms, Views, Wildlife and Birding
  • Dog Policy: Dogs Allowed On Leash throughout the park. Dogs Allowed Off Leash only in the fenced doggie meadow near the park entrance.

Tucked in the foothills between Summerland and Carpinteria, this 74-acre park provides respite from civilization. It is a wilderness area in a rugged canyon where you could also hold a huge picnic or wedding. A trail departing from a picnic area leads you to an overlook gazebo with a spectacular view of Montecito, Carpinteria, and beyond. Some consider the drive to the park to be the best part, offering panoramic views of the shimmering sea.

There are 4 reservable areas at Toro Canyon Park. Amenities include Barbecue Grills, Benches, Picnic Tables, Bike Trails, Equestrian Trails, Group Picnic Areas, Hiking Trails, Horseshoes, and Restrooms. There are also swings, a "big" kids playground, and a toddler playground.

Off Leash Dog Area

Toro Canyon Park has an off leash dog meadow near the entrance on the left side. The doggie play area consists of a fenced sunny meadow with a perimeter shaded by oak trees, so you need not worry about your pet during hot summer afternoons. There is parking available next to the doggy area. There is no dog poop bag dispenser so pet parents must bring some and ensure that they clean up after their loved one. Dogs must wear a collar, have current vaccinations, and have a valid license while in the off leash area. Everywhere else in the park your dog must be on leash.


From the 101 Freeway exit at Padaro Lane and turn toward the mountains. Turn right on Via Real. After 1/2 a mile, turn left on Toro Canyon Road. After 1.3 miles, turn right on Toro Canyon Park Road just after the large Toro Canyon Park sign. This is the road with the amazing views. The actual park entrance is on your left about a mile up the road. There is no roadside sign indicating you have arrived at the parking lot and it is easy to fly right past it and dead end at a private estate. When you know you are close, slow down and look for the park on your left.