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San Marcos Foothills Preserve

Santa Barbara, California, United States


San Marcos Foothills Preserve is a rugged walking area. Here you can follow a wide muddy path that begins with amazing sweeping views across Goleta and Santa Barbara. The path then takes a very steep downhill approach and then goes uphill, leading you to the La Cumbre area, where you can then turn around.
The views at the beginning of this walk are fantastic. I recommend coming here just to park and enjoy the views. But I don't recommend the walk because there are hidden gopher holes under the grass. If the path is muddy and you have to walk over the grass, watch out. My leg shot deep down into a gopher hole and I was so injured that I had to cancel my trip to Hawaii. One star! Booooo!

Photo Gallery

View of the ocean.

View of Santa Barbara.

A boulder beside the trail.

Low-lying clouds.

This tree looks like it belongs on a desktop image.

Looking across at the mountains from where the trail starts to go downhill.

The muddy trail.

There is a deep gully beside you.

Green grass patch below.

My shoe, which got stuck in the gopher hole and had to be rescued.


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San Marcos Foothills Preserve is located at 1083 Via Gaitero, Santa Barbara CA 93105.
From Highway 101, take Highway 154 San Marcos Pass. Exit at Cathedral Oaks Rd and turn left. Turn right on Via Chaparral. After half a block, on your right you see a bridge, the Bridge to Nowhere. Cross it- it goes over Highway 154. Then turn left and park along the road.
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