Santa Barbara Hikes: Arlington Peak

Santa Barbara Hikes: Arlington Peak

The Arlington Peak Hike is one of my favorite Santa Barbara hikes in the front country. With about 3,000 feet in elevation gain, this hike is quite strenuous. And in the last portion of the hike you get to boulder through large sandstone formations. The combination of different grades of elevation gain make this hike very interesting.

To begin the hike, park near the water reservoir at the end of Tunnel Road and walk up Spyglass Ridge fire road. This area is a popular recreational area in Santa Barbara and it can be hard at times to find parking near the water reservoir. Make sure to not block the road and to park on the side well behind the line. Otherwise there is a good chance that you will get a parking ticket.

The first section of the trail is on a paved fire road. At the first junction, after the paved road, make sure to stay on the left of the trail. After about 0.75 miles you will see a creek crossing. Until this junction, the Inspiration Point Hike (or Jesusita Trail) and the Cathedral Peak Hike are identical. But in order to continue on the Cathedral Peak Hike, you have to go up the creek bed for about 100 yards and the trail continues on the left. This part of the trail is not very well maintained and the junction can be hard to find at times.

You will stay near the creek for a little while. After another mile or so you will hit the first sandstone rock formations. The trail is very primitive at this point and it can be very hard to find the right route up. But do not give up, the views from the top of the peak are breathtaking and make the bouldering through the sandstones totally worth it.

3 thoughts on “Santa Barbara Hikes: Arlington Peak”

  1. Cathedral Peak is a good one to get to when you are in Santa Barbara. Worth the effort put in once you reach your destination. Don’t forget the water and sunscreen like I did! It made for a very exhausting and long day. You should throw up some photos if you have any, this is a beautiful hike and it should be documented properly! Glad I stumbled upon all these Santa Barbara hiking blogs, just more motivation to book my vacation there with my family for this summer. Lost of hiking in our future!

  2. This one of the longer hikes in town, and by looking at the map now I know how exactly long it is! On a sunny day this is the place to be or even any other hiking trail in Santa Barbara. Cathedral Peak I feel, unless you’re used to long and enduring trails, it isn’t for the faint of heart like other trails in Santa Barbara. I need to go on at least one hike whenever I come to town. It is has been mostly for business these past few years but I always seem to find the time to enjoy some outdoor time!

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