Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rattlesnake Canyon Wilderness Area

After a short hike to Nojoqui Falls, we decided to go for another hike. We wanted to hike to the Inspiration Point located in the Santa Barbara foothills, but there was not a single free parking spot within a mile of its trailhead! So instead we went to Rattlesnake Canyon Wilderness Area, which is also located in the Santa Barbara foothills.

In Rattlesnake Canyon we went for a 6-mile (9.7 km) hike to the upper end of the canyon, all the way up onto Gibraltar Road. It took us 2h 40min to hike there and back, during which we gained, and then lost, 1550ft (473 m) in elevation. The first part of the trail was relatively level and it followed a creek through a forest, whereas the second part of the trail was steep and exposed.

Anil was so not impressed with the hike that he several times suggested turning back, but I insisted on going to the very end of it, as my hiking book promised spectacular views of Santa Barbara, the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands from the top of the canyon. The views were indeed nice, but I am not sure if they were worth the hike, especially that one can get to the same place where the hike ends by car... I guess one can not expect every hike to be spectacular.

A creek flowing through Rattlesnake Canyon:

The views from the trail:

The views from Gibraltar Road: