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Sunset Hike | Jesusita Trail


The hike offers ample room to stretch your legs, elevation gain for fitness improvement, and terrific views up and down. (If the pace is too slow for you, there will be optional HIIT sessions on the flats and uphills.)

The hike’s distance and elevation change will depend on how far you follow the trail. The full roundtrip route is about seven miles, with 1500 feet of gain/loss and a total hiking time of roughly 3 hours. Since our route is out and back, and well-marked, you can turn back earlier if you become winded or are short on time.

On this route, the terrain is either dirt fire road or fairly well-tended single and double-track trail.

Please be sure to bring water, a snack, an extra layer of clothing, and a headlamp or flashlight.

Details of the hike are provided below…hope to see you there!

Hike Type: Conditioning

Level: Intermediate

Route Type: Out & back

Distance: ~7 miles

Elevation gain/loss: ~1500 feet

Terrain: Footpath and dirt road

Leashed dogs: Yes

Route summary:

This hike will take us up to 7 miles roundtrip, through and then above San Roque Canyon, to Inspiration Point and its impressive views of Santa Barbara, Goleta, and the Pacific.

Our route begins at the San Jesusita trailhead on San Roque Road, proceeds along the mostly single-track Jesusita Trail for about three miles, then follows a dirt utility road for just under a half mile, and finally reaches Inspiration Point via a roughly 200-foot single-track trail.

The route is well-marked, except for the first two forks and the final turnout to the point, where we go right on the way out (left on the way back) in all three cases.

Overall, the route is steadily ascending, rather than steep, though there are a few moderately challenging sections and a few seasonal water crossings. The first couple of miles follow San Roque Canyon and offer a great riparian experience. The third mile is primarily switchbacks, as we proceed up out of the canyon until reaching the dirt utility road near Inspiration Point.

As we ascend, the route offers increasing views of the Santa Ynez mountains, Santa Barbara and Goleta, and the Pacific and offshore islands to the south and west.

Please note that San Roque Canyon has some poison oak growing, though it is easily avoided in the sections of the trail we will be following on this hike. That said, you will need to walk attentively at some points on the trail and/or wear hiking pants, especially if you are highly allergic.

The initial section of our hike is partly shaded, but the route steadily gives way to open hillside and chaparral. Since we begin in relatively sheltered areas and reach exposed areas above the Pacific, weather conditions can range from cool to hot and calm to windy.

We will continue to our turnaround point, stop to enjoy the great late-day or early-evening views of the Pacific, offshore islands, and surrounding coastal peaks. After our stop, we will return to our starting point by the same route.


Please wear – hiking or athletic pants or shorts, one or more wicking shirts appropriate to the temperature, comfortable hiking or running shoes, a hat and other needed sun protection, your favorite undergarments and accessories, and a light pack to hold your gear.

Please bring – at least 1 liter of water, on-trail snacks, extra layers of clothing in case you become cold, a charged cell phone, identification, a headlamp or flashlight, a waterproof shell if rain is forecast, and any medications or anything else you might need on the trail.


Please perpendicular park in the dirt parking area across the street from the water filtration plant, or in the permitted areas immediately next to the trailhead, on San Roque Road. Please also watch for sometimes rapidly moving vehicles in this fairly rural and undeveloped area.

Carpooling and public transportation are encouraged, both to lower our carbon footprint and to reduce the number of parking spaces we use at the trailhead.

Please do not leave anything of value in your vehicle, at this or any trailhead.


By car, take the Las Positas Road exit off of Highway 101, near downtown Santa Barbara, and proceed north (toward the mountains or away from the ocean) for just under two miles. Los Positas Road changes name to San Roque Road when it crosses State Street. Look for the trailhead on your left.

Alternatively, you can take city streets and/or Foothill Road (Route 192) to San Roque Road. If you do this, the trailhead is 0.4 miles north (toward the mountains or away from the ocean) from the intersection of Foothill Road and San Roque Road.

By public transportation, take the MTD #6 or #11 bus to State Street and San Roque Road. Walk north (toward the mountains or away from the ocean) on San Roque Road for 1.1 miles. You will cross Foothill Road at roughly the 0.7-mile mark. Look for the trailhead on your left.



The event host is a volunteer and is not responsible for the event group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. If you become fatigued and unable to continue with the event, it is expected that you will advise the event host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will help to promote the group’s safety, fitness, and enjoyment goals.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in this event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Santa Barbara County Hikers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained event leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to host or participate in events. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.

WAIVER OF LIABILITY: This group, including its organizers, assistant organizers, and event organizers, will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur traveling to and from events, or for any injuries or accidents before, during, or after group events. If you sign up for and attend this event, you are acknowledging that you freely and voluntarily assume all risks of injuries and damages, and agree to participate in the event on these terms.

No +1s or other unregistered attendees are permitted on this event. All attending must be group members and sign-up for the event via the Meetup.com site. All attending also must be 18 or older, or accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.




Santa Barbara County Trails Council


1235 San Roque Road · Santa Barbara, CA
1235 San Roque Road · Santa Barbara, CA United States Get Directions

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