Santa Barbara Hiking Trails - Inspiration Point

Inspiration Point is one of the closest and easiest hikes in the Santa Barbara area (only 5 minutes away from the downtown area). It also has one of the most beautiful views of the city. Therefore, it makes for a popular late afternoon or morning hike. In looking at the images, you can see why it's called Inspiration Point.

The trail starts on a paved road with a light incline. After the pavement stops, you will eventually get to a fork in the trail (go left!!)... and it will lead you down to a creek (which is dry during the summer months). If you follow the creek, you will get to 7 Falls (have to do a bit of rock jumping). However, if you pass the creek and continue going up, you will eventually find yourself on top of Inspiration Point! The summit itself is rather non distinct, but you can tell you're at the top when looking down on the city of Santa Barbara.

Fireworks Abstract

I almost deleted these photos immediately after I took them. The first two were taken without a tripod and the third one was taken by accident as my camera was facing up. I'm glad I didn't delete them though... because when I viewed them on my computer, I thought they were pretty cool. Everyone always sees fireworks in perfect focus... or with the long exposure lines. However, the fact that these came out blurred made them more interesting to me.

The top one looks like little birds flying to a red flower. The second one looks like a hundred little fishing rods getting dipped into a black sea... and the third one reminded me of a abstract sunset painting (really liked the gradient effect). Hope you enjoy!

Happy 4th of July from Santa Barbara!

So I had the brilliant idea to hike up into the mountains in Santa Barbara to watch the 4th of July fireworks celebration from on top of Inspiration Point. The best thing about this idea was that you would be able to see fireworks in multiple towns. You're literally above Santa Barbara. It's a beautiful view. UNFORTUNATELY... the fog decided to role in and kind of ruined my plans (Damn you June Gloom!!). We could barely see 30 feet in front of us and definitely could not see the ocean/fireworks (was pretty upset). Therefore, we were forced to hike back down while it was still light outside... and about halfway down we found a little vista that overlooked the Santa Barbara harbor. The view wasn't perfect, but it was still really cool to see the fireworks from above. I thought it was interesting that the "boom" from the fireworks didn't get to us until about 4-5 seconds after it happened (the speed of light truly travels faster than the speed of sound). It was nice to hang out with new/old friends, drink wine/beer, eat vodka infused gummy bears, and watch things explode... that's what the 4th of July and America are all about!

The 30 second finale captured in one long exposure image.

Santa Barbara Hiking Trails - Cold Spring(s) Trail

Cold Spring(s) Trail starts off with a very gentle climb to an area with small waterfalls (the creek bed was a bit low when I was there... so waterfalls were extra small). After you get to a sign for "West Fork Cold Springs Trail", it starts getting a bit more steep and will eventually lead you up to Edison Rd. From Edison Rd, there is a beautiful vista looking down on Montecito and Santa Barbara (in the distance). If you want to challenge yourself a bit further, there is an even steeper trail that leads higher into the mountains. The views from up there are even more incredible and there are some really cool yucca plants that dot the trail. Definitely recommend this hike!

Can still see traces of fire damage on certain trees.

We were actually searching for a waterfall (that didn't exist) and ended up on this boulder trail. After we got to a certain height, we realized that getting down would be much more difficult than going up. Therefore, it was at this point that we decided to turn around and admit defeat (my running shoes were not providing much traction on the boulders)