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Sheffield Reservoir Walk

Santa Barbara, California, United States


The walk at Sheffield Reservoir gives you that expansive Sound-of-Music feeling with its wide open spaces and mountain views. Boulders dot the landscape and make for fun climbing for kids. Patches of flowers are everywhere. The historic Spanish-style reservoir, with its white walls and chunky turrets, makes for a pretty view. Because it was an open-air reservoir it can no longer be used under California regulations. There are many paths crisscrossing around the reservoir and the short walks are easy for kids. Come early in the day because there's no shade.
It's fun to watch the hang-gliders overhead. They take off from Gibraltar Rd way up in the mountains.
There is a beautiful drive that you should take home. Turn left on Highway 192 (go east). Continue straight on Mission Ridge Rd instead of turning left to follow the signs for Highway 192. Continue straight on Las Alturas Rd. It will wind round and round offering you the most wonderful vistas overlooking the city and the ocean. You'll be so jealous of the homeowners! It leads to Alameda Padre Serra. Turn left on Alameda Padre Serra, Right on Cota St, left on Milpas St, and this will lead you back to Highway 101. Have fun!

Photo Gallery

Boulders and flowers in the sun.

Hangglider enjoying the day. They jump off at Gibraltar Rd.

Wide green spaces and mountains.

The path at Sheffield Reservoir.

A couple walks on the grass between rows of boulders.

Beauty everywhere.

Boulder to climb, and the reservoir behind.

Flowers catch the sunlight. See the strand of trees in the distance.

View down the coast from Las Alturas Rd.


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The Sheffield Reservoir walk is located on Highway 192 immediately east of Mountain Dr. You will see the big white reservoir and the parking lot beside it. If you need an address for your GPS, type in Mission Ridge Rd and W. Mountain Dr, Santa Barbara CA 93103.
Exit Highway 101 at Las Positas Rd and head toward the mountains. Go about 1.5 miles (through the State St intersection) and then turn right on Foothill Rd (Highway 192). This is a pretty drive. Go 2 miles. You will come to a spot where you end up at a T (you can't go straight, only left or right). Turn left here. The reservoir is just a short distance after that, on your left.
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